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COVID-19: Campus Safety Protocol

COVID-19 Protocol

This page serves as the hub for information related to FPC's COVID-19 protocol. Updates are made regularly in response to changes in CDC recommendations and local positivity rates. Please check back for the latest information regarding our campus.

EFFECTIVE JUNE 6, 2021

As the outlook for COVID-19 cases in our city continues to improve, we are pleased to communicate our next step toward a fully reopened campus. In light of recent updates to the CDC’s mask recommendations and a review of current COVID-19 metrics by our Medical Advisory Team, your Session has approved an update to our campus safety protocols. Effective June 6, the following adjustments will be made:

  • Masks Optional: Beginning June 6, those who are fully vaccinated will be permitted to worship with or without masks. We encourage anyone who is not fully vaccinated or those who prefer to wear a mask due to vulnerability, safety needs, or personal preference to continue with this practice. Mask requirements for Children and Youth activities, childcare, and weekday campus activities remain the same.

  • Weekly Worship Reservations: With the increase to 75% occupancy, we can now eliminate the use of reservations for Sunday worship. As a result, Sunday, May 30, will be the last day we require registration. Due to varying space limitations, reservations for childcare, Children, and Youth Sunday School classes, and other Sunday morning discipleship activities will remain in place until further notice from those ministry departments.

The safety of our staff, church members, ministry partners, and guests that visit our campus is our utmost priority. As we continue to navigate through this pandemic, the following protocols are required of anyone that enters the First Presbyterian Church building.

  • Two-points-of-entry: Everyone will be required to either enter and exit through the Welcome Center or Palm Court unless there is an emergency. 

  • Face Masks: A mask will be required in all areas where there are children. In other areas of FPC, masks are optional based on your comfort level.

  • Contact Tracing: If you become aware that you or someone attending your event has been on the FPC campus within a 14-day window of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis or close contact with someone who has tested positive for an active infection, we ask that you contact our Chief Operating Officer, Hunter Johnson at hjohnson@fpchouston.org.

  • Hospitality: Food should be prepackaged. Food from an outside source is allowed to be brought in.

We realize that these are unprecedented and volatile times, and while we continue to navigate through this pandemic, FPC Leadership may at any time need to modify these protocols or cancel an event.  

We thank you in advance for your understanding, cooperation, and following these guidelines.



UPDATED ON MAY 3, 2021

As the outlook for COVID-19 cases in our city continues to improve, we are pleased to communicate our next step toward a fully reopened campus. In light of recent updates to the CDC’s mask recommendations and a review of current COVID-19 metrics by our Medical Advisory Team, your Session has approved an update to our campus safety protocols. Effective June 6, the following adjustments will be made:

campus safety protocol

  • Advance reservations via the "Save A Seat" form are required for all in-person worship services.

  • Open Seating: Ushers guide you to a seat of your choice. Social distancing is recommended.

  • Masks required at all times. 

  • Hand sanitizer available at entrances.

  • Wellness questions posted at entrances for self-check.

"Save a seat" form
We continue to ask that anyone planning to attend worship in person submit a "Save A Seat" form. This allows us to prepare seating for as many congregants as possible. Though seating in our worship is limited due to social distancing guidelines, effective Sunday, May 9, and Sunday, May 23, our seating capacity in each worship space will increase to 50% and 75% respectively. A link to the "Save A Seat"will be available beginning each Monday at 10 AM for the following Sunday. 


WHAT TO EXPect
Our in-person worship protocol includes the following:

  • Entry and exit doors propped open on Sundays. 

  • Wellness questions will be visible to allow those entering to self-screen and help identify whether they or someone else may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or who, in the last 14 days, have tested positive for the virus or had close contact with people who tested positive for the virus. See the Individual Screening section below for specifics.

  • Masks required for all worship attendees. Mask must entirely cover the mouth and nose, even while singing.

  • During worship, people actively who are preaching or speaking from the chancel, or those who are participating in the worship team that day may temporarily remove their masks while singing or speaking at their assigned time. 

  • Printed items will be limited, and items such as communion elements and offering plates will not be passed hand-to-hand during worship services.

  • Children and youth will be required to sit with an adult member of their household, remain properly masked throughout the entire service, and practice appropriate hand hygiene. Childcare is available for children 2 mos-4 years of age. Email childcare@fpchouston.org to register.

  • Those singing to lead worship will be spaced at least 12 feet apart from each other and congregants.

Individual Screening
On Sunday mornings, Sanctuary access will be limited to a select number of entrances. Anyone entering is asked to review the wellness questions posted outside of designated entrances with respect to having symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days, having received a positive test result, or has been in close contact with others who tested positive for the virus. Screening questions will be available on this page for consideration in advance of a campus visit. We have made the decision not to include a temperature check in our screening process, as it would cause people to be in close proximity to the screener and could pose an infection risk to both the screener and the individual. 


Weekday Safety Precautions

To minimize risk and help ensure FPC remains a virus-free environment, the following safety precautions are now in place when visiting the campus during the week:

  • Everyone visiting campus is asked to practice hand hygiene and use hand sanitizer upon entering the building.

  • Staff and campus visitors must wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose upon entering the building.

  • Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized or disinfected immediately before and after worship services. Restrooms and common areas will be cleaned twice a day and FPC's cleaning team will circle the campus throughout the day to clean high-touch areas.

  • Restrooms are modified to promote physical distancing.

Parking & Entrances
At this time, we request that all visitors utilize either the limited mobility parking spots (if applicable) or the North Lot. Sanctuary doors and Palm Court doors will be marked for entrance on Sunday mornings. Entrance to campus on weekdays is restricted to Welcome Center doors. At present, only staff and those visiting by appointment are permitted on campus.

Campus Hours 

  • Monday-Friday | 8 AM– 5 PM

  • Saturday | 8 AM - 4 PM

  • Sunday | 7 AM - 2 PM

Outside of Sunday morning worship FPC buildings remain closed to all but FPC staff and those visiting by appointment. 

Click Here To Save A Seat For In-Person Worship