Dear Spirit Lake Church,
Yesterday the Panhandle Health District voted a 60-day order covering 5 counties, including Kootenai, requiring persons in public spaces to wear face coverings when not maintaining six feet physical distance between people. There are exceptions to the order, including medical conditions. Persons with medical conditions need not provide documentation. The people making these decisions do so believing masks reduce the spread of the virus 30% or more. Based on rising numbers of cases and hospitalizations, Kootenai County has been designated code red since Oct 22. So far, in the 4th quarter, Kootenai Health has declined to admit 52 patients because of maxed capacity. Other local data and updates can be seen at any time at https://www.kh.org/covid-19/.
On October 26 Governor Little moved the state of Idaho back to stage 3 of reopening. On November 13 he moved Idaho back to stage 2, prohibiting all gatherings of 10 people or more, with religious gatherings exempted. While we are grateful that our church is still allowed to assemble and worship lawfully in Idaho, we ask that every person attending Spirit Lake do their part to keep churches open by limiting chances of viral spread at our facility. Here are some important reminders:
1. Stay home if you have any cold-like symptoms. Carriers are especially contagious during the early stages of catching COVID. All our services can be live-streamed on the internet at www.spiritlakesda.org
2. Get tested early. COVID treatment is most effective when implemented early. Testing is easy. There are several options in North Idaho. Many testing places require a doctor's order. If you don't have a family doctor already, Dr John Torquato's office can help you: 208-772-7850. Dr Torquato is also able to prescribe medicines that have proved beneficial for other COVID patients. Those that contract COVID should pursue treatment as soon as possible. Dr. Roger Seheult gives excellent advice for treating COVID. He names www.hydrotherapyathome.com and www.hydro4covid.com as practical resources.
3. If you attend Spirit Lake and you test positive for COVID please notify the pastor or other church leader immediately so that those that were exposed can be alerted. Your identity can be protected, but early communication is very important for limiting the spread of the virus.
4. For those that are able, mask up at church. Please do not harass or judge somebody who has reasons not to wear a mask. Let's not conclude that those who do not wear a mask do not care for others or that those who wear a mask have capitulated to sinister agendas. Let's all just do what we can.
5. Take care of your health! Eat wisely. Sleep well. Drink water. Don't skip exercise. Love your family. Care for your friends. Keep the faith!
Finally, these are times when we need to care for each other more than ever and try to understand where each other are coming from when we have different opinions. It's no secret that the country is facing a tsunami of mental health breakdowns due to isolation and restrictions. The virus is not the only thing killing people. Let's be more intentional than ever about connecting with each other without undue risk.
Be of good courage!