Case Study: Mountain Home United Methodist Church
By Larry Johnson

During this time when our churches are closed to the public, it may still be necessary for some authorized person to enter your church. Some churches may have in place security cameras to monitor the comings and goings. Others may not. Here is an example of what has been done at Mountain Home UMC in Sherwood, Oregon.

Why is it important to know who’s been in your facility? As we return to the use of our facilities, this could help us determine the level of cleaning needed before general use can resume. We might find out that a person who entered later tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. We might find that no use has occurred for more than 7 days and cleaning isn’t necessary per CDC guidelines. Each of these situations requires a different level of cleaning and sanitizing according to the CDC.

If your church does not have a simple system in place for monitoring use, here is guidance for setting a plan in place.

  1. Identify the main access doors.
  2. Provide a sign in and sign out sheet at each door.
  3. Provide written material to read at each door. Ask people to read it before going about their business. This should cover the procedures for cleaning or sanitizing your facility. A PDF copy from the included CDC link works great. CDC: Cleaning And Disinfecting Your Facility
  4. Gather at each station the supplies need to complete the cleaning and sanitizing. This would include a spray disinfectant, sanitizing wipes, and hand sanitizer. Don’t forget to also include disposable gloves, paper towels, and a wastebasket.
  5. As an extra precaution, you can ask them to sanitize as they enter. But make it clear they need to sanitize as they leave.
  6. If possible leave doors open to areas that don’t need extra security. This will minimize the need to sanitize these doors and doorknobs.
  7. Be sure to thank them for looking out after the safety of themselves and those that might follow.

If you have questions about cleaning and disinfecting your facility, you may reach out to the GNW’s United Methodist Church Disaster Response Support Line by emailing responseinfo@greaternw.org or by calling (503) 802-9205.


Larry Johnson serves as Disaster Preparedness and Response Coordinator for the Oregon-Idaho Conference of The United Methodist Church.

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