New Directive on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) 5/4/2020
The seven Bay Area Public Health Officers who ordered a shelter in place in mid-March have extended the orders through May 31, while some restrictions are eased and tools to strengthen containment of COVID-19 have been put into place. All construction activities, certain businesses that operate primarily outdoors, and some outdoor activities will be allowed to resume with specific conditions.
These new Health Officer orders, which takes effect May 4, cover everyone living or working in the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara as well as the City of Berkeley, an independent public health jurisdiction.
This next phase reflects regional progress, thanks to the collective action Bay Area residents have taken since mid-March in response to Health Officer shelter-in-place orders. Those actions have saved lives and staved off mass hospitalizations from the COVID-19 virus, which spreads easily and causes severe illness in many people.
This initial, measured easing of some restrictions is designed to set the stage for a gradual resumption of activity and prevent rapid, exponential growth of cases that could overwhelm hospitals for a particular jurisdiction or the region as a whole.
As such, St. Vartan Armenian Apostolic has taken the following steps in helping our greater community effectively fight against this virus:
A. Conduct the celebrations of the Sunday Services behind closed doors, without the participation of faithful people, by streaming the celebrations online, until May 31, 2020, or until further notice. Badarak will not be celebrated until May 31, 2020, included, or until further notice.
B. Fr. Krikor Zakaryan is available for: visitations in cases of urgency, special cases administration of Holy Communion and prayers, or any other spiritual support and service to you.
C. St. Vartan provides outreach to our community through: 1. Assistance with groceries and pharmacy, 2. Distribution of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), 3. Online Sunday Prayer Services, 4. Online Bible Studies, 5. Appointment options for one on one or group online meetings with the Priest, or within our community groups, 6. Personal phone calls from the Priest.
D. For the greater local community, we encourage the following outreach: 1. Donate food to/or help at the Alameda County Food Bank. Volunteers should be up to 65 years old, and 2. Donate extra personal protective equipment, needed for hospitals, and support Oakland Children’s Hospital.
St. Vartan will continue to monitor and make appropriate decisions during this dynamic situation. Please note that St. Vartan, out of abundance of caution and sincere care, is taking these measures and we ask that all of you take preventative measures to help stop the spread of this virus and protect yourself and others.
Please make sure to check our website for the latest updates regularly and keep supporting St. Vartan Church during these trying times by donating online, or you can also donate by mail to St. Vartan Church, 650 Spruce St. Oakland, CA 94610.
Reliable sources of information about novel coronavirus are:
Please stay steadfast in your prayer, faith and hope and educate yourself properly from reliable sources to avoid unnecessary anxiety and fear! We keep all of you in our prayer and under our care!
May the Good Lord bless and protect you and yours,
St. Vartan Armenian Apostolic Church
Parish Priest and Parish Council