A MESSAGE FROM DEAN THOMASON
MAY 3, 2023
As you likely know, the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency declared by the federal government in 2020 will be expiring on May 11. It has been a long, arduous journey, and we are keenly aware that more than 1.1 million Americans have died from the disease. Sensible precautions will remain in place—stay home if sick, consider testing and follow protocols for isolation, get vaccinated, etc. But the broad public health guidelines of distancing, avoiding public indoor spaces, etc. are ending, and Saint Mark’s Cathedral will follow suit.
Of course, this does not mean that the virus that causes COVID is no longer with us, nor does it mean that it is no longer a serious illness for some. It means that the virus is endemic, and we are learning to live with it while also moving forward with our lives. Anyone may wear a mask, and perhaps some should. We all should avoid groups when symptomatic for infectious respiratory illness (that is not a new precaution). We should use good hygiene (e.g., handwashing) and get vaccinated when boosters become available for our demographic.
Following changes in public health guidelines, we will no longer require vaccinations for staff or liturgical leaders, nor will we retain a distanced section in the nave for worship after May 11, 2023. Wear a mask and sit wherever you like. And know the livestream is available at 11 a.m. Sundays and special services so you can actively participate when home sick.
I know not all will agree with these changes at this time, and I am happy to address your concerns. Please contact me directly. The cathedral community is large, diverse, and has conducted itself with much grace and goodwill for one another through the pandemic. Many have found their spiritual home here since March of 2020, and I trust more will in the coming months and years. We will make our way together, and for that I am exceedingly grateful.
Yours in Christ,
The Very Rev. Steven L. Thomason, Dean & Rector