How long will the measures taken last?
The Belgian government has put measures in place to halt the spread of the new coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic in the country. They have ordered all schools to suspend lessons (as of 16th March), and from 13th February 2020, they ordered the closure of all bars, nightclubs and restaurants; they also ordered events of all sizes, both indoors and outdoors, to be cancelled until further notice. Vineyard Benelux and Vineyard Brussels have taken the decision to comply with the measures as part of our civic responsibility and will re-evaluate depending on the national situation and governmental recommendations.
Is the church open during this emergency?
Vineyard Brussels will not hold meetings for the next three Sundays: 15th, 22nd, and 29th of March. We are an international community of believers with close to 500 people gathering on the weekend, and in consideration of the public health emergency declaration on COVID-19 by the Interim Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès, we want to ensure the well-being of our church community as well as all the citizens of Belgium, especially those who are at risk among us.
Are there alternative actions in place to keep the community connected?
Yes, there are some activities planned to keep the community in contact and to take care of the vulnerable and those under house quarantine, including an initiative called #SpreadLove or firstname.lastname@example.org.
1) Sunday Sermons will be livestreamed at 10:30 through YouTube Channel or Facebook on 15th, 22nd, 29th March.
Please follow the services @Vineyard Brussels on Facebook and @Vineyard Brussels on YouTube.
You can also use the Instagram hashtag #vineyardbrussels to stay in touch
2) During the week, we need volunteers to assist members in our community who have been affected by COVID-19 through:
a. Food parcels deliveries to homes
b. Walking the dog, where needed
c. Prayer support via telephone (EN, FR, NL)
3) Regular corporate prayer via Facebook
Is there a reliable online source I can check for latest information on the COVID-19 disease and what safety precautions to take?
The main source of information for Belgian citizens is the official website: www.info-coronavirus.be. There is also an official website for all EU citizens dedicated to COVID-19 of European Center for Disease Control: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en. For the latest updates and international information on COVID-19, please visit the World Health Organization also provides https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019. For information about how to speak about Covid-19 with children, you can check: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-51734855
What precautionary measures can I take to try and protect myself and others from the COVID-19 virus?
Please pay attention to these simple but effective safety measures in order to keep yourself and others safe:
• Regularly wash your hands with water and soap or use disinfection for hands
• Sneeze in your elbow or use tissues and dispose of them correctly. Don’t touch your face with your hands
• Adjust your social habits during this period: keep your distance when speaking to people, do not exchange kisses, do not hug or shake hands
• Make sure your home and utensils (e.g. phone) are also clean and hygienic, although all the facts about SARS-coV-2 are still unknown, viruses can survive for several hours on surfaces such as tables and door handles
• Maintain healthy lifestyle habits, however possible, to support your immune system (e.g. sport activities, sleep, vitamins).
Be prudent but don’t panic! Remember that in the majority of cases (even of contracted infections) the disease symptoms are clinically mild.
As a rational approach, national authorities may decide to only test subgroups of suspected cases based on the national capacity to test, the availability of necessary equipment for testing, the level of community transmission of COVID-19, or any other criteria; they may also consider prioritizing testing in the following groups:
• hospitalised patients with severe respiratory infections;
• cases with acute respiratory infections in hospital or long-term care facilities;
• patients with acute respiratory infections or influenza-like illness in certain outpatient clinics or hospitals in order to assess the extent of virus circulation in the population;
• elderly people with underlying chronic medical conditions such as lung disease, cancer, heart failure, cerebrovascular disease, renal disease, liver disease, diabetes, and immunocompromising conditions.
Who should I contact if I am concerned about being extra vulnerable to the virus because of my existing medical condition?
You should contact your doctor by telephone and report your symptoms. Do not go to the waiting room or the emergency department. You can also send such questions to 0800 14 689 or email@example.com, check www.info-coronavirus.be (FR, NL, EN, DE)
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing (www.ecdc.europa.eu)
I have cold symptoms but have not been in a high-risk area or situation. What should I do?
If you are showing cold or flu symptoms (fever, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, sore throat) you should stay at home and make sure to limit contact with others. Feel free to send a prayer request to the church and have someone pray with you over the phone.
The symptoms of the clinically apparent COVID-19 coronavirus infection (www.info-coronavirus.be) are:
■ a cough
■ a high temperature/fever
■ shortness of breath and/or respiratory problems
These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. It is still more likely that anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms will have the flu or a bad cold, not COVID-19. If your symptoms increase (e.g. you develop respiratory issues) or persist, contact your doctor.
“FINALLY, be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of His power. Clothe yourselves with the armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes and craftiness of the devil. For our struggles is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything to stand” Ephesians 6:10-13, NET
“For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control” 2Timothy 1:7 NET
For any other information feel free to contact the office at: firstname.lastname@example.org