Guidance for Faith-Based Groups

The Mayor of the City of Joplin has issued an order banning social gatherings of 10 or more persons.  This does not apply to educational activities, daycare facilities, and business operations.  All persons are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing at this time, allowing at least six (6) feet of space between individuals and avoiding unnecessary contact.  This order is in effect until April 6, 2020 unless extended by further order of the Mayor. 


Social distancing is one of our best tools in preventing the spread of COVID-19.  Limiting social gatherings plays a key part in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.  Other methods of prevention include the following:

  • Staff and visitors should stay home when they are sick.
  • Promote covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue and washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains 60% alcohol.
  • Keep away from others who are sick (at least 6 feet).
  • Clean and disinfect all “high-touch” surfaces at least daily.


  • Clean dirty surfaces with soap and water OR bottled ready-to-use cleaner first daily. Products that clean well include dish soap, Formula 409, OxiClean, and Windex
  • After cleaning, disinfect surfaces to kill the virus and allow to dry completely. For hard surfaces, use bottled disinfectants like Clorox Cleaner with Bleach, Lysol, or mix your own (1/3 c regular bleach to 1 gal water). For porous surfaces, use a disinfectant appropriate for material (see label). When doing laundry, wash according to label using warmest setting possible and allow to dry completely in a clothes dryer.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces at a frequency that is based on your facility’s plan to stay open or to temporarily discontinue services.

Planning and Looking Ahead:

  • Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Create a plan of action, especially for those visitors who are at a greater risk such as older adults and people with severe chronic illness or are otherwise immune-compromised; should they exhibit symptoms.
  • Vulnerable populations may look to the faith-based community for help. Consider providing COVID-prevention supplies to staff, volunteers and visitors ahead of an outbreak.
  • Create a list of local organizations that the vulnerable population can contact in case of the need to access information, healthcare services, support and resources.
  • Create an emergency contact list for your core staff.
  • Choose a room in your facility that can be used to separate a sick visitor from the rest of the congregation should they develop symptoms while in your facility.

What to do if you have a confirmed case:

  • Advise anyone who is sick to stay home except to get medical care.
  • Wear a face mask when you are around a visitor who is symptomatic.
  • Clean and disinfect all “high-touch” surfaces at least daily.

For more information: