The Coronavirus is slowly sweeping the world, with an infection rate of 90,000 and over 3,100 deaths as of early March. The elderly and the chronically ill have been especially at risk. For ministries, the question has become – what can be done? What should we do? There are certainly some practical steps that every church and Christian school should put into place, but let’s make no mistake – the most important thing any of us can do is pray.

Let us pray for God’s hand of mercy to slow down the incredibly quick spread of this terrible disease, and let us ask for His hand of healing on those already infected. Pray that God will bless the many scientists working day in and day out for a cure or vaccine for the virus.

Let us also continue to witness – epidemics like this certainly help each Christian realize why God places such an emphasis on the Great Commission – nobody knows when their life might end. Make the most of every moment and share the Gospel to the world.

In the meantime, ministries must be wise and take cautionary steps to help prevent additional spreading of the Coronavirus. Churches – install hand sanitizing stations around your campus, encourage all to utilize them regularly, and forgo any type of “hand-shaking” time. Make announcements specifically for hand washing. Make sure that pews, chairs, and nursery areas are regularly sanitized.

Christian schools – it is vital that you establish procedures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your student population. The Center for Disease Control has updated their website with specific guidance for schools, and we would strongly recommend you look it up and adhere to it as closely as possible.

Here are a few of the CDC’s suggested tips for schools regarding students and staff:

– Collaborate with your local health department to review, update, and implement emergency operations plans.

– Monitor and plan for absenteeism;

– Actively encourage sick employees to stay home;

– Establish procedures for students and staff who are sick at school;

– Perform routine environmental cleaning;

– Emphasize respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene; and

– Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps.