Easing COVID-19 Requirements at Saint Mark’s—August 17, 2022

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AUGUST 17, 2022

Dear friends,

As you may have seen in the news in recent days, the CDC has promulgated new guidelines related to COVID precautions and interventions. More importantly for us locally, King County public health officials have observed a dramatic decrease in infection rates and have reduced the risk level to LOW. That change, along with the trending infection rate of less than 200 new cases daily per 100,000 population, means that Saint Mark’s Cathedral will once again make mask-wearing optional, effective today for ministry groups and for worship beginning Sunday, August 21, 2022.

Please note: we will retain the “masked and distanced” section in the south pews and transept for any who want to continue those precautions. We do so, mindful still, that there are some for whom such safeguards are important measures for their comfort in worship. We want all to feel welcome. Of course, you’re welcome to mask and sit wherever you like. For ministry groups, I hope you will extend the courtesy of asking one another your comfort level and be guided by a consensus that takes everyone’s needs into account. I know you will be gracious and gentle with one another.

Liturgical ministers will continue to show proof of vaccination and boosters since they move about in the space and interact with many persons. Of course, vaccination remains an important element of caring for ourselves, and others. I hope you will get your next booster when they become available this fall. Be assured I will do so as well.

These changes mark a shift in approach to the virus as an endemic reality with which we must learn to live over the longer term. Having just returned from Britain, where similar adjustments were made weeks earlier, I can tell you we can do this and remain a vibrant worshipping community and a beacon of hope for all who yearn for the good news we have to share. We will remain nimble, flexing in our precautions as needed, always guided by our public health officials and the data with which informed decisions can be made. But for now, let’s celebrate this as a welcome relief and an opportunity to gather as we press on faithfully. I look forward to seeing your beautiful smiles once again!

Blessings and peace,

The Very Rev. Steven L. Thomason, Dean & Rector

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