5 March 2020 |
The General Conference (GC) is feeling increasing pressure to address the impact of the global spread of coronavirus COVID-19 on plans for this summer’s General Conference Session, currently scheduled to be held June 25 – July 4 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In a General Conference Session coronavirus preparedness bulletin updated today, the GC stated that it is monitoring coronavirus updates and recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as state and local health organizations.
“The health, well-being and safety of General Conference Session attendees is of the utmost priority,” reads the bulletin, adding that the GC is working with the Lucas Oil Stadium venue for the summer session as well as other stakeholders to “develop an onsite readiness and reaction plan.”
Currently, little detail on these plans has been released other than that attendees can expect “increased hand sanitizer stations, attendee educational materials on ways to minimize risk, and more.”
There is currently no information regarding a potential cancellation or postponement of the session. Similarly, there is no information from the GC on possible cancellations of GC Session travel plans from leaders in areas of Asia and Europe that have been most affected by large-scale coronavirus outbreaks.
Updates are posted on a page of the General Conference Session page titled COVID-19 & GC. This information accompanies General Conference President Ted Wilson’s March 2 call for prayer regarding the threat of the coronavirus to this summer’s General Conference Session.
In his message, Wilson acknowledged the “very serious health situation affecting various parts of the globe in relation to the coronavirus COVID-19 illness” as well as “increasing apprehension in travel, business, health care, in scheduling of meetings, and in general daily life.”
Wilson said that General Conference executive officers and other officers and leaders are “reviewing the situation and possible scenarios.”
He said that despite close monitoring of the situation “at this point in time, the current and long-standing plans for the 2020 General Conference Session are still in place.”
In related news, the Southeastern California Conference has sent out a memorandum to Asian/Pacific Ministry Pastors suggesting ways to prevent coronavirus spread at church. Suggestions include refraining from handshakes at church services as well as asking guests from Asia to “voluntarily” stay at home and watch church services via live stream. Another suggestion is an end to potlucks, effective immediately.