Case Study: Victory Church

Background

Victory is an internationally recognized Church based in Tulsa, Oklahoma with more than four decades of operations. In addition to online streaming of services with more than 30K regular weekly followers, Victory operates a K-12 School, a Bible College, a Christian Youth Camp (Camp Victory), a community outreach center (Tulsa Dream Center), and multiple campuses. With 539 employees and more than 2500 approved volunteers Fit-For-Work was deployed in Beta with Victory as a test-partner to address specific screening needs associated with the Coronavirus global pandemic.

Analysis

Victory has consistently been on the leading edge of evangelistic ministry with the Pastoral Team focused on reaching people with a message of hope, healing, and restoration. Victory has a reputation of NEVER being closed for any reason. The ordered closure of all businesses and services in response to COVID-19 created a challenge for the Victory in determining how to continue maintaining essential services to church members and those within the Tulsa Metropolitan Community.

In establishing Executive Orders for closings, churches were identified among essential services but faced with restrictions of following CDC and public health guidelines to ensure the safety of employees and the general public. In addition to online streaming of services, and nationally publicized “Drive-In” services conducted in the parking lot, Victory was faced with deploying the necessary health screening process for staff and volunteers essential to providing the continuation of services.

In addition to following proper medical protocols for safe screening, concerns for both privacy and documentation of screening under HIPAA, fiscal concerns were quickly analyzed. Based upon three primary locations, and the number of staff needed to conduct proper screening a weekly cost of $8,200 was conservatively calculated. This number did not account for multiple shifts, nor the lost time of staff waiting in a queuing line for screening.

Based upon technical guidance provided from local health officials, in the event that a staff member, volunteer, or church member were to contract COVID-19 response protocols established by the Health Department would involve the documentation of screening processes along with the use of Personal Protective Equipment. Risks from OSHA’s General Duty Clause along with concerns for health and trust with church members made this process vital for the sustainability of the Church.

Solutions

An internal (intranet) tracking document was quickly created through “Formstack” to allow tracking of the screening process through multiple locations but the process of identifying staff and volunteers was time consuming and less than accommodating for those who desired to begin work before established screening times or those were working on later schedules. Disposable wrist bands were also deployed as a means to verify staff were properly screened.

Fit-For-Work

In the absence of any other market available solutions, Victory contacted Expert Ready Software for the development of an Internet-based solution that would provide the mechanism to both PreScreen staff before reporting to work where the screening process could include both screening questions and a properly documented assessment of body temperature.

Results

Initial development of a functional working solution took about two weeks of development time followed by beta-testing. Upon deployment, Victory’s team of staff and volunteers have been able to easily adapt to the process. The greatest impediment for 100% success in full deployment has involved those staff members who do not own digital thermometers. Mass availability of oral and forehead touch scan thermometers has improved but a pre-ordering by employers should be considered. Approximately 15% of our staff were initially impacted, a few were unwilling to purchase thermometers required screening. The few who “refused” to pre-screen temperatures were disincentivized by making employer conducted screening less than convenient and staff were still required to record the information within the Application.

Future Use

Continued use for nursery, child care, and school utilization is planned apart from CDC guidance associated with the Coronavirus pandemic as pre-screening is anticipated as an effective method of eliminating or minimizing the spread of seasonal contagions such as rhinovirus and influenza. Resolving the issue of digital thermometers will need to be addresses either with a mass purchase for staff or approved staff reimbursement. With digital thermometers being available for purchase through FSA (and) HSA funds, greater emphasis on these requirements will be beneficial to the Church.

Victory has the expectation that permanent regulation will be developed by the CDCV and the Department of Labor involving health screening as a means of early detection and containment of future threats of nationwide pandemic.