June 2020 Newsletter | AFC Ministry Update

COVID-19 Safety Measures For 2020 Holy Family Fest℠ Season


“For where two or three are gathered in My name, I am there among them.”
—Matthew 18:20

Here at Catholic Familyland®, the Catholic Corps, AFC Staff, and the Alumni and Service Corps missionaries are hard at work finishing preparations for your arrival. We are excited to welcome you to the Holy Family Fests.

This year has been a whirlwind for us all, and we know there have been many questions about how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact your experience. We are pleased to be able to share with you the following information about what you can expect this summer.

Your Trust and Safety Matters to Us

Since before the various “Stay at Home” orders were issued around the country in March and April, the goal of our dedicated and experienced team has been to create a safe environment for you and your family.

Over the past three month period, we have responded to the crisis by working daily to implement and perfect the techniques that would be necessary to safely welcome you and your family to Catholic Familyland this summer. We began by shutting down in-person visits to our campus by all but the most essential visitors, including employees and volunteers. We moved in-person retreats online, and quarantined and monitored our summer missionaries when they arrived. We focused every single day on cleaning and screening the property and ourselves, and to date, no employee, visitor, missionary, or volunteer has come down sick with COVID-19 symptoms.

Our leadership team met multiple times a week to discuss developments in the orders, rulings, guidance, and data from all sources regarding the pandemic and responded accordingly.

We worked with and abided by all safety precautions put in place by our diocese and the State of Ohio. We have also worked directly with the Jefferson County Health Department to verify the impact our efforts would have on keeping you and your family safe this summer.

We did all of this for you and your family, and every passing week it became more clear we would be safe to proceed this year in welcoming you to an experience that over a hundred thousand Catholics have been through since 1989.

We kept working as we know our mission of helping families grow in their relationships with each other and with God has greatly impacted you and your family. This knowledge was confirmed every week in the messages of support we received encouraging us to make sure you would be able to come and see us safely this year.

How We Will Keep You Safe For Your Journey

  • Staff, contractor, volunteer, and attendee pre-screening, health assessments, and safety precautions:
    • Staff and volunteers are continuing daily assessments of their health designed to identify symptoms of COVID-19. Non-contact infrared thermometers are available and used by any staff member who reports feeling ill. Randomized checks are done throughout the day, and no one has had a fever to date. AFC policies have been changed to allow remote work, and employees are required to report feeling ill while at home and stay home if sick.
    • Contractors must also abide by Ohio and West Virginia laws which mirror the AFC human resources policies. They too are screened and required to stay home if sick.
    • Under current Ohio regulations, travel is permitted except for those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have not recovered, those who are presumptively diagnosed with COVID-19, and those who are exhibiting the symptoms identified in the screening guidance available from the CDC and the Ohio Department of Health.

  • Staff, contractor, volunteer, and attendee social distancing support:
    • Following Ohio Health and diocesan guidelines, staff, contractors, and volunteers have been practicing social distancing for weeks. Work areas have been segregated, meetings held remotely, and in-person gatherings limited according to the mandates of the government and our bishop.
    • Before your arrival, our staff will finish the setup of areas you will encounter during the Holy Family Fest. In high traffic areas, or where waiting may occur, there will be markings to assist you in following social distancing guidelines. Occupancy of indoor spaces will be limited and controlled. Signs will be posted in these areas instructing you how to stay safe, and protocols will be communicated to you during your check-in process, at the Information Table, or by simply speaking to any AFC staff member.
  • Enhanced cleaning and hygiene practices for staff, contractors, volunteers, and attendees:
    • Staff and volunteers have been instructed and coached on how to minimize the risk of infecting themselves or others with COVID-19 or any communicable disease through increased hygiene standards.
    • Extra cleaning staff has been hired, and AFC has selected some of the region’s best cleaning contractors to help us maintain the premises this summer. This team will be on a continuous mission to clean commonly touched surfaces and areas where disease can spread.
    • Extra cleaning of the restroom and dining areas will be performed, and only a trained and properly equipped crew will handle food preparation and serving.
    • Enhanced cleaning protocols for optional communal activities and surfaces are in place, and signage will remind participants about how to assist us and help keep everyone safe after engaging in these activities.

What You & Your Family Need to Do Before Coming

  • Before you travel, self-assess, and stay home if necessary:
    • Per Ohio Health guidelines, and to help keep fellow attendees safe, please follow CDC guidance and self-assess for symptoms of COVID-19 before traveling to our campus. You can find a list of symptoms and a self-assessment program here: Symptoms of Coronavirus.
    • If you find it necessary to stay home, or if you or anyone in your family should not be traveling to Ohio after self-assessment, please contact our Events team at [email protected]. We would be happy to discuss options for rescheduling or refunding your Holy Family Fest.
    • On your arrival, we will require you to certify your self-assessment and results before finalizing your check-in process! You will also need to certify that this will be done every day before leaving your lodging location.

  • Bring whatever you need to feel safe and comfortable:
    • While we will be following all the safety guidelines applicable to our operations, we know that some people may want to go above and beyond. While you are not required to wear a mask in the State of Ohio, feel free to bring your own masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, or any items you wish to help you feel comfortable and safe.
    • Non-contact thermometers will be available during the week if you forget or are unable to bring your own. If you or someone in your party feels sick, simply contact an AFC staff member, return to your lodging, and we will gladly bring one to you and let you know what your temperature is!

  • Reach out to us if financial circumstances impede your ability to come:
    • With the help of some generous benefactors, we may be able to help you attend a Holy Family Fest even if you have experienced a loss of job or income during this pandemic. Reach out to our Events team at [email protected] if a last minute economic hardship is preventing you from coming.

  • Holy families can change the word, so bring your friends!
    • If you know of a friend or family that would benefit from coming this summer, share this email with them and bring them along! We have spots available that we expect to fill up as we go through the summer, so the sooner the better!

Thank you for trusting us with the responsibility of helping bring you and your family closer
together and closer to God. We know that with great trials come great fruit, and we are humbled
and excited to continue the journey to Heaven with your family this year.


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