Office of Government Relations

Church and Public Health Information on COVID-19

Below you will find Episcopal Church statements and action alerts related to legislation and public policy concerning the COVID-19 outbreak and the U.S. government response both domestically and internationally. You will also find resources from the CDC and others providing health guidance and further information to assist you during this ongoing situation. Finally, at the bottom of the page are resources for definitions of terminology related to COVID-19 and the response local governments are taking.

If you have questions concerning this material, write to us Office of Government Relations.

NEW! Just released our new Toolkit for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution. Make sure you get vaccinated (when you’re eligible) and help the Church work with the government on vaccine distribution.

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Government Information Pages

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Collaborating to create the expertise, information, and tools that people and communities need to protect their health – through health promotion, prevention of disease, injury and disability, and preparedness for new health threats.

Information on the COVID-19 Vaccine (CDC)

World Health Organization (WHO)
On this website, you can find information and guidance from WHO regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that was first reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. Please visit this page for daily updates.

United Nations (UN)
Coronavirus global health emergency: Coverage from UN News.

Episcopal Church Advocacy

Action Alerts

In 2020 and 2021, we sent 13 alerts to the Episcopal Public Policy Network asking Episcopalians to contact their elected officials related to the COVID-19 economic and public health crises. We have highlighted throughout the year how COVID-19 reveals the discrimination and systemic racism that pervades our society, and we have seen that the disease has had a disproportionate impact on communities of color, especially Black and Indigenous Americans. Congress still needs to act to help our country make it through this pandemic, and our government has a role in helping us all through this moment of national trauma. 

Statements

Sign-on Letters

Faith Organizations Letter to President Biden on just and equitable vaccine distribution (PDF)

Letter to urge President Biden to restore international cooperation to produce more vaccines and treatment (PDF)

World Religious Leaders Call for a People’s Vaccine

Definitions and Terminology

Individual Practices During COVID-19

Physical Distancing/Social Distancing: deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness (generally 6 feet of space). Both terms are used synonymously. Includes but is not limited to:

  • Working from home instead of at the office
  • Closing schools or switching to online classes
  • Visiting loved ones by electronic devices instead of in person
  • Cancelling or postponing conferences and large meetings

Self-Quarantine: for people who have been exposed to the new coronavirus and who are therefore at risk of coming down with COVID-19. Self-quarantine lasts 14 days and involves:

  • Using standard hygiene and washing hands frequently
  • Not sharing things like towels and utensils
  • Staying at home
  • Not having visitors
  • Staying at least 6 feet away from other people in your household

Isolation: for people who are confirmed to have COVID-19. The same practices for self-quarantine should be used. Most people can isolate at home unless serious symptoms develop. Isolation should last for as long as instructed by your medical provider.

Government Orders During COVID-19

Coronavirus restrictions and mask mandates vary by state. Please check with your state and local officials for guidance.

Names Used by Health Officials

For the disease: coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
For the virus: severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), “the virus responsible for COVID-19,” or “the COVID-19 virus”

Contact:
The Office of Government Relations

eppn@episcopalchurch.org