Past Updates from our COVID-19 Task Force are available on our Board Updates page.

Important COVID-19 Update

Due to the surge in positive COVID-19, FirstCoast MCC’s Board of Directors has made the decision to suspend ALL in person services and activities at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation and make the decision when it is safe to begin meeting in person again when there are no longer spikes in infections and when the vaccine is available to all. We are called to care for our neighbors and for the vulnerable among us. Staying home is the best way for us to love one another at this time. As soon as we are able to safely meet in person, we will make that announcement giving everyone sufficient notice with COVID 19 Protocol instructions that will be enforced for everyone’s safety.

In the meantime, plan to continue joining us for our Virtual Worship on Facebook Live at 10:30 am each Sunday.

We pray each of you are safe and healthy!  Please continue to stay in touch with each other, assist those you can, lift each other up in prayer and be faithful by financially supporting FirstCoast MCC during this time.

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COVID Update - 03/15/2021

CDC Guidance as of 3/15/2021
From: J Carol Grigg, MD

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday issued long-awaited advice to Americans fully vaccinated against Covid-19, freeing them to take some liberties that the unvaccinated should not, including gathering indoors in small groups without precautions while still adhering to masking and distancing in public spaces.

The agency offered good news to grandparents who have refrained from seeing children and grandchildren for the past year, saying that vaccinated people may visit indoors with unvaccinated people from a single household so long as no one among the unvaccinated is at risk for severe disease if infected with the coronavirus.

In practice, that means fully vaccinated grandparents may visit unvaccinated healthy adult children and healthy grandchildren of the same household without masks or physical distancing. But the visit should be local — the agency still does not recommend travel for any American, vaccinated or not.

As cases and deaths decline nationwide, some state officials are rushing to reopen businesses and schools. Though federal health officials have repeatedly warned against loosening restrictions too quickly, fearing that the moves may set the stage for a fourth surge of infections and deaths, Wyoming’s governor said on Monday he would lift the state’s mask mandate, a move made by the governors of Texas and Mississippi in recent days. GET YOUR VACCINE as soon as any of the ones out there are available to to you wherever you can. Also double mask for better protection against the variant strains.


NEW YORK (AP) — Fully vaccinated Americans can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing, according to long-awaited guidance from federal health officials. The recommendations also say that vaccinated people can come together in the same way with people considered at low-risk for severe disease, such as in the case of vaccinated grandparents visiting healthy children and grandchildren.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the guidance Monday.

The guidance is designed to address a growing demand, as more adults have been getting vaccinated and wondering if it gives them greater freedom to visit family members, travel, or do other things like they did before the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world last year. “We know that people want to get vaccinated so they can get back to doing the things they enjoy with the people they love,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, in a statement.

The CDC is continuing to recommend that fully vaccinated people continue to wear well-fitted masks, avoid large gatherings, and physically distance themselves from others when out in public. The CDC also advised vaccinated people to get tested if they develop symptoms that could be related to COVID-19.

Officials say a person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine. About 30 million Americans — or only about 9% of the U.S. population — have been fully vaccinated with a federally authorized COVID-19 vaccine so far, according to the CDC.

COVID Update - 02/14/2021

COVID Update - 02/14/2021
by Carol Grigg, MD

While the numbers of cases of COVID during this 3rd surge, which is the largest in less than a year, are finally beginning to fall, the number of deaths due to this virus are increasing.

In the United States, the number of active cases is about 30 million, of which 1.8 million are in Florida. So far, we have lost in this country, almost a half a million lives, 30,000 of which are right here in Florida.

The states with the highest infection and death toll are these:

  • New York
  • California
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Pennsylvania

Mass delivery of VACCINES began 2 months ago in many high-income countries, but some low-income countries are yet to receive a single dose, yet. Here in the US, while there are about 1/3 of the population with “vaccine hesitancy”, meaning they do not intend to get vaccinated, there is also HIGH DEMAND for the vaccine which is still in very short supply. And the vaccine appears to be more protective than having the disease, for building antibody defense.

Right now, the number of US citizens vaccinated is 3%, and also 3% of Floridians, as well. (Keep in mind that 85% is the number we need vaccinated to create “herd immunity” so that the spread no longer occurs.)

More doses are coming to Florida this week. And the new administration is attempting to implement improvements to our overall Health Departments around the country.

There is good news from the CDC this week, and that is this: Once you are vaccinated, 2 weeks after your second booster shot, you no longer have to quarantine if you come into an exposure encounter with someone who has the disease. In other words, even though masking and distancing will be required, you may work and go out without fear of worsening yourself or others. (I suspect that vaccination cards will be like passports for certain activities, like flying, attending church, etc.)

POINTERS:

  1. All of us should become “VACCINE CHAMPIONS” and encourage whoever we can to also become vaccinated.
  2. The goal right now is to save LIVES and to keep our hospitals open and functioning.
  3. Understand that the “LONG HAULERS” with residual symptoms such as shortness of breath, migraines, fatigue, and other serious after-effects may not be able to return to work, even by 6 months.
  4. GET VACCINATED wherever and whenever you can.
  5. Double mask, now, or find a tighter fitting mask to prevent further spread, as we now know that you are more likely to obtain the virus from air than from contaminated surfaces.

Finally, there is a new belief in the medical community, that COVID may become ENDEMIC, meaning that it is “here to stay” and that we will “LEARN TO LIVE WITH IT” like we have with tuberculosis, HIV, influenza, and the common cold. This is due to the mutations, a few of which are extremely contagious and more deadly than the original strain which began in NYC and Washington State. With time, we will be able to identify and adjust our vaccines to deal with these newer strains, but at the current time, the vaccines available, have provided enough protection that while some have become sick with the newer strains (variants), not a single person has become critically ill, nor has died, if they were vaccinated.

We are likely looking at the end of summer for a return to some semblance of normalcy.