Organizational Response


Photo by Oliver Hale on Unsplash


Next Steps Ministry Protocol

Everyday practices for organizations to keep healthy

Our churches, schools, and ministries are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for worship, learning, service and fellowship.


With the rise of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in our state, representatives from churches, schools, and ministry groups (community service centers, food/clothing banks, camp) are inquiring about the Seventh-day Adventist system response here in western Washington.

First and foremost, if anyone – student or staff – are showing symptoms of fever, coughing, and/or shortness of breath, these individuals need to stay home and consult their local doctor.

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) virus, and we are learning more about it every day. Stopping transmission (spread) of the virus through everyday practices is the best way to keep people healthy. Illnesses change but basic preventative measures do not.

Organizations need to consider how best to decrease the spread of acute respiratory illness and lower the impact of COVID-19.

Since the intensity of an outbreak may differ according to geographic location, you may need to adjust your crisis response plans for your church, school, or ministry workplace accordingly. Please stay informed with the latest from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and your local health department.

Emphasize respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene

  • Provide no-touch disposal receptacles.
  • Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace.
  • Ensure that adequate cleaning supplies are maintained.
  • Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.
  • Teach Students the Right Way to Wash Hands (WA Department of Health link)

Perform routine environmental cleaning

  • Routinely clean and daily sanitize all frequently touched surfaces including bathrooms, water coolers, desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, hands‐on learning items, faucet handles, phones and/or toys.
  • Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
  • No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.
  • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees or volunteers before each use
  • Classroom Cleaning Tips for Teachers (WA Department of Health link)

Provide for work-at-home, learn-at-home, and worship-at-home options

  • Cross-train employees or volunteers to perform essential functions so your church, school, or ministry can still operate even if key staff or volunteers are absent.
  • Provide alternative learning opportunities including web-based instruction, to facilitate continuity of learning and student support in school settings.
  • Communicate worship-at-home options including livestreaming, online giving, social media check-ins and virtual visits, online or phone prayer meeting, and additional basic spiritual and emotional care for those in crisis.



Originally published March 2, 2020