Now two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve learned much about what works well for keeping your church building sanitized and clean. Early on, there was some uncertainty about which sanitary precautions made sense, but now many churches have well-established procedures. The following are some of the tools that churches are using to make a difference, and to help both guests and attendees feel comfortable worshipping in church buildings.
The Must-Have Basic: Hand Sanitizer Stations
Everyone is likely seeing hand sanitizing stations in just about every community building they enter. It’s a sign of the times—and an effective one. Whether it’s a pump jug of sanitizer on the receptionist’s desk or a freestanding dispenser, providing hand sanitizer sends everyone the message that you care about the health of the people who enter. Strategic placement of hand sanitizer stations makes sense near church building entrances and wherever else people will be handling doorknobs, greeting each other, or meeting together.
Let Your (Sanitizing) Light Shine throughout Your Church Design
Cleaning your church building and wiping down frequently used surfaces has certainly become almost second nature. But there is technology that allows you to go further than that. UVC lights kill viruses and bacteria. They are also harmful to humans with prolonged exposure, but they can be very effective when used in appropriate ways.
For example, UVC lights can be dragged across individual seats or left in a room overnight to sanitize an entire space. Purifying systems using UVC lights are also now being installed in the intake sections of HVAC systems. When the HVAC system pulls air from rooms into the system, the light will kill viruses and help make the air of your church building safer to breathe. There are also ionizing-based systems that serve much the same function.
Investing in Antimicrobial Options for Your Church Building
If you’re willing to make a bigger investment in sanitizing options, you might consider installing antimicrobial surfaces for areas in your church building. Certain types of metals will kill bacteria or prevent them from sticking. These kinds of materials are used in hospitals for high-touch items like doorknobs, locks, and counters. While they do cost more up front, they provide additional layers of safety. They also cut back on the cost of maintenance staff time and cleaning supplies, as well as lessening the amount of chemicals being spread around your church building.
The most important element of each of these sanitizing tools is that they help people feel more comfortable coming into your church building. When guests know you care about keeping them safe, they’re more likely to return. When attendees and guests understand that you’ve invested in sanitary measures to keep things clean, they will feel safe to join you for in-person worship again.
As you can imagine, we’ve gotten a lot of COVID-19 related questions from attendees of our free i3 webinars. This is why we are sharing the latest information on how to keep your church building safe and clean in these uncertain times. To learn more and get your questions answered, sign up for our next free i3 webinar, and look for the next in our series, which will discuss church design options that address COVID-19 protocols.