Our Top Priority is the Health and Safety of our
Children, Adults, Friends and Neighbors

Visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website
for the most accurate and current information at

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (01-10-2022) – Local health officer recommendations were issued on this 10th day of January 2022 to mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) in Shawnee County, Kansas. See full text at

KDHE and the SCHD are urging Kansans to use the following tools to protect themselves against COVID-19 and the omicron variant:

  1. GET VACCINATED AND BOOSTED – Vaccines remain the best tool to protect people from COVID-19, slow transmission and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging. The three authorized COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalizations, and death. Scientists expect the vaccines to prevent serious illness, hospitalizations, and death in people infected with the Omicron variant. COVID-19 vaccines are now authorized for people ages 5 and over. The COVID-19 booster shots are authorized for all individuals ages 16 and over. To find a vaccine near you, visit
  2. GET TESTED – If you are sick or have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, it is recommended that you get tested for COVID-19. COVID-19 tests are available across Kansas. Go to to find a free testing location near you. If your test is positive: Do not return to work, school or other activities until isolation is complete ( Notify your close contacts that they have been exposed. Contact your healthcare provider if you are high risk for severe disease (
  3. ISOLATION AND QUARANTINE – See detailed information available at
  4. WEAR A MASK – Masks offer protection against all variants. It is recommended that people wear a well-fitting mask in public indoor settings in Kansas, where COVID-19 transmission remains high, regardless of vaccination status.
  5. AVOID CROWDS – Very likely to be exposed in crowded spaces, especially indoors. Reschedule gatherings with members outside your household. Reschedule or move to virtual setting.
  6. SOCIAL DISTANCE – When in public settings, stay at least 6 feet from other people, especially if you are at higher risk of getting sick.
  7. PRACTICE GOOD HYGIENE – Wash hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Cover your coughs and sneezes. Clean high-touch surfaces regularly.

Erin Locke, MD, MPH, Shawnee County Health Officer
Shawnee County Health Department,
2600 SW East Circle Drive, Topeka, KS 66606
Office Phone: 785.251.5612

The Strategic Plan to ReOpen WSBC was created and approved by the Church Council at its regular monthly meeting in May 2020 to voluntarily cooperate and comply with the Federal, State of Kansas, and the Shawnee County Health Department plans to stop the spread of the COVID 19 virus (and its variants). The Federal, State, County, and local governments reserve the right to amend or change their Plan at any time.

All persons are encouraged to use the recommended tools by the Center for Disease Control and the Shawnee County Health Department to protect themselves against COVID-19 and the omicron variant.

BACKGROUND – On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus (COVID 19) an international pandemic. The Church Council voted unanimously on April 7, 2020, to voluntarily cooperate with the Federal, State, and local governments in the mitigation of the Coronavirus (COVID 19). The Governor of Kansas issued Executive Order 20-16 on March 28, 2020, making Kansas the 22nd state in the nation to institute a temporary, statewide stay-home order. On April 30, 2020, Governor Laura Kelly presented her Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas – a detailed framework for gradually, safely re-opening the Kansas economy. The Church Council voted unanimously on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, to adopt “The Strategic Plan to Reopen West Side Baptist Church” (Plan) with the commitment to voluntary cooperation with the State of Kansas’ “Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas,” the Shawnee County Health Department “A Guide to Re-Opening Shawnee County Ad Astra 3.0 (6/19/2020),” the federal government (e.g., Center for Disease Control and Prevention), the World Health Organization, in response to the Coronavirus (COVID 19) global pandemic, and our denominational leadership. The top priority of the Church’s leadership is the health and safety of our families, friends, and neighbors!

REAFFIRMED – The Church Council, at its regular meeting on Tuesday, January 11, 2022, reaffirmed by unanimous consent to continue to cooperate with federal, state and county officials in an effort to stop the spread of the virus while respecting the conscious choices of others in an effort to “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3).

THE BUILDING IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC – The church building is OPEN to the PUBLIC during PHASE 1 (GREEN), PHASE 2 (YELLOW), and PHASE 3 (ORANGE) and afterward, except upon order of the Shawnee County Community Health Officer and the Church’s Executive Officers.  The Sanctuary will remain OPEN for all religious services and the building will be OPEN to classes, meetings, public gatherings, community groups using the building, and community assistance programs. Every member and guest on church property must comply with the Governor of State of Kansas executive orders, Shawnee County public health orders, hygiene guidelines, federal, state, and local government regulations, as well as the decision of the Church Council and Congregation.

RELIGIOUS SERVICES – The Sanctuary has remained OPEN for public worship and will remain open until further notice. All worship services will continue to be broadcast LIVE on Facebook and YouTube. Religious Services (including funerals and weddings held in the Sanctuary) are not restricted to the State or county governments’ mass gathering limits; however, participants must comply with all public health orders, regulations, restrictions, and best practices issued by the Shawnee County Health Department, including the mandatory order to wear masks in public. 

Please contact me or Pat Carpenter, Church Moderator, if you have any concerns or questions.


The Reverend Ivan E. Greuter, D.Min.
Senior Minister at West Side Baptist Church
1008 SW 4th St., Topeka, Kansas 66606
Phone: (785) 233-4241