FAQ for religious and faith-based organizations
Link/share this page at kingcounty.gov/covid/faith-faq
Specific to religious and faith-based organizations
Public Health recognizes that places of worship are more than a place to pray; they provide community and healing, especially for injustices past and present, particularly against Black, Indigenous, and people of color. This is even more important as marginalized communities are those hit hardest by COVID-19.
Isolation and quarantine
If members test positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms after being exposed, they should isolate from others in their home for at least 5 days. See COVID-19 quarantine and isolation page full guidance.
When to report COVID-19
Employers should follow Washington State Labor & Industries (L&I) requirements for COVID-19 in the workplace:
- Organizations and businesses with less than 50 community members or employees no longer need to report COVID-19 cases.
- Organizations with 50 or more community members or employees should continue to report outbreaks to L&I within 24 hours if they suspect COVID-19 is spreading in their workplace or if there are two or more confirmed or suspected cases among community members or employees in a 14-day period.
Although Washington State’s public health emergency proclamations for COVID-19 ended October 31, 2022, COVID‑19 is still a recognized workplace hazard that employers must address. See L&I Requirements and Guidance for Preventing COVID‑19 and reporting cases.
General questions about services
1. What is the guidance for faith-based activities during services? Is it okay to share reading materials and prayer mats and participate in Eucharist?
The most important ways you can limit the spread of COVID-19 include:
- Getting vaccinated and boosted when eligible
- Improving indoor ventilation (or using air purifiers and opening windows/doors)
- Testing and staying home when sick
- Wearing a mask if you are high risk, or around others who are at high risk, or in crowded places where it makes sense
It is okay to share materials as the risk of transmission by touch is very low.
Singers and performers should consider wearing masks and use instrument covers while performing to limit transmission. Practice good hygiene and maintain social distance.
For additional information, please refer to state guidance on considerations for performing arts in K-12 schools (page 12) and school-sponsored performances (page 13).
Speakers should consider wearing masks to limit transmission and using voice amplification so that speakers can be heard clearly.
Practice good hygiene and maintain social distance and if possible, use a well-ventilated area, outdoors is better than indoors.
4. A staff or member of my organization has COVID-like symptoms or was exposed to someone with COVID-19. When can they can rejoin services?
If you have COVID-like symptoms:
- Isolate for at least 5 days. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed. Isolating for 10 days is the safer option since it's still possible to spread COVID-19 after day 5 (though you will not be nearly as contagious as earlier in your infection).
- After 5 days, if you have no symptoms or your symptoms are going away, you can leave your home. Do not leave your home if you still have a fever. You must continue to wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask around others for 5 more days (for a total of 10 days).
- If your symptoms last longer than 5 days, continue isolating until your symptoms have improved and you no longer have a fever.
If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19:
- And you are NOT up-to-date on vaccination and booster:
- Quarantine for 5 days and get tested on day 5. It's important to test on day 5 if possible.
- If you test negative or you do not have symptoms after 5 days, you can leave your home. You must continue to wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask around others for 5 more days (total of 10 days).
- If you can't quarantine, you must wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask around others for 10 days after the exposure, distance from others, avoid crowded places and stay away from people at high risk for COVID-19.
- And you ARE up-to-date on vaccination and booster:
- You do not need to quarantine.
- Wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask around others for 10 days after the exposure.
- Test on day 5, if possible.
- Pay attention for symptoms. If you develop symptoms, immediately quarantine unless you get a negative COVID-19 test result.
Testing information is available at kingcounty.gov/covid/testing
Organizations may choose to implement their own vaccination verification policies. If you are somewhere COVID-19 safety measures are in place, please follow them.