On August 10th: Onondaga County was reclassified as being at a “high level of community transmission” for Covid.-CLICK HERE
As of August 4, 2021 and until further notice, everyone who enters the St. James’ Church building is required to wear a mask. This includes all people vaccinated or not for all in-person worship, meetings, rehearsals, etc. Clearly this decision is not easy and is made to follow the guidance of the CDC and Diocese to keep the most vulnerable of our family which includes children, elderly and immune compromised individuals as safe as possible. The St. James’ Safety Task Force comprised of experienced, health professionals with access to accurate, detailed data advised this requirement after thoughtful evaluation of increased local Covid cases, and CDC and Diocese recommendations.
This ONE small step “backward” is to support efforts to end this Covid surge and protect all who enter the building. Basically the new standard is simple: when you are in the building wash your hands/sanitize & WEAR a MASK. All can still sing, sit together, have communion, meet in-person and while outside-no mask is required.
Additionally, though it is not required, be mindful that many are keeping socially distant as a personal precaution. Be sure to ask permission for shaking hands or hugging. This is especially true of clergy and staff. No one wants to be a spreader of this disease even unknowingly.
Yes, let’s all face it-masking again is a bummer. It’s ok to be sad, mad, frustrated, and all the feelings in between. Know God is beside you in this journey. Remember, it is not the actual challenge that defines us but how we deal with the challenge presented. The glass is definitely half-full and God is walking with us. St. James’ is a resilient and loving family who all have the capacity to do what it takes to protect each other. Masks and hand sanitizer will be at each entrance of St. James’ to help jog your memories when you arrive. Your cooperation is very appreciated by everyone and be watching for communication that hopefully will reverse this mandate.

Below you will find links to accurate information regarding the current Covid situation within the local area, Diocese as well as facts/myths from the Center of Disease Control.

Information You May Find Helpful
Central New York Diocese Covid Info page: CLICK HERE
CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommendations: CLICK HERE
CDC Covid-19 Data Tracker: CLICK HERE
Covid-19 Vaccine FACTS & MYTHS: CLICK HERE

The St. James Reopening Task force would like to encourage and remind all eligible parishioners to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccination will not only save you from this very serious disease, but will protect the most vulnerable people around you, such as the elderly, cancer patients, people with chronic diseases and immune deficiency. It also, will allow our church family to gather more safely. With these goals in mind, we will be communicating
COVID vaccine information to the St. James family on a regular basis.
Walk-ins are now accepted at 16 mass vaccination sites in NY for people 12 years and older.
The State Fairgrounds is one of them.  ID and insurance info is required.
Below are 3 Videos from Experts in our Own Parish Explaining the Facts Behind the Covid-19 Vaccine

Centers for Disease Control-CDC-CLICK HERE
New York State Covid Vaccine Website-CLICK HERE
St. James’ Nurses:  Nancy Corl:
                              Jean Gannon:
How and where do I sign up for the COVID vaccine?
Get Started and Choose Your NYS Vaccination Site:  CLICK HERE
For the NYS Fairgrounds:  
            Screening Form:  CLICK HERE
            CVS: CLICK HERE
            Kinney:  CLICK HERE
How can I get help signing up for the vaccine?
Onondaga County Help line: Phone number to help seniors schedule-12 p.m. to 4 p.m. 315-679-4099
(News Article on Helping Seniors-CLICK HERE)
Can I get help with transportation to the vaccine appointments?
Skaneateles Laker Limo-(315) 685-3030,
Monday-to Syracuse,
Tuesday- to Auburn,
Wednesday-to Skaneateles,
Thursday AM to Syracuse, PM to Auburn,
Friday to Syracuse
Call-a-bus (315) 442-3400, a specialized service of Centro for individuals with disabilities, involves an application and small fee
Contact Nancy Graham
The vaccine is extremely effective against getting COVID-19 disease Two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is are >94% effective. The primary reasons that COVID infections are decreasing so dramatically are because of the rising number of people being vaccinated and the large number of people who now have immunity after having COVID disease. You want to be a member in the first group!
The COVID vaccine is very safe and well tested. Covid-19 vaccines were tested in large clinical trials to make sure they met safety standards. The Food and Drug Administration and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices independently reviewed all of the safety data before approving and recommending these vaccine. In addition, since over 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have already been given in the US, even extremely rare reactions (such as anaphylaxis) are well understood, and safeguards have been put in place.
You cannot get the COVID disease from the vaccine. The vaccine does not contain any live or even weakened COVID virus particles. It consists of manufactured mRNA which instructs our cells to make part of a protein, which in turn, triggers our body’s immune response to COVID-19. After receiving the vaccine, it is not unusual to experience mild COVID-like symptoms (fatigue, headache, body aches, low grade temperature, chills, diarrhea, etc). These side effects are a sign that your body is responding appropriately to the vaccine.
Facts about Covid-19 mRNA Vaccines: Pfizer-BioNTech (2 doses, 21 days apart) and
                                                              Moderna (2 doses, 28 days apart)
• Messenger RNA vaccines, also called mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. Researchers have been studying and working with the technology of mRNA vaccines for decades.
• These vaccines cannot cause COVID disease in vaccinated persons because they do not contain live virus particles.
• The mRNA in these vaccines never enters the nucleus of our cells (where DNA resides) and so cannot affect our DNA in any way.
• mRNA vaccines have been held to the same rigorous safety and effectiveness standards as all other types of vaccines in the United States.
• mRNA vaccines have been studied for other infections, including flu, Zika, rabies and cytomegalovirus (CMV).• Pfizer BioNTech vaccine is 95% effective at preventing lab confirmed Covid-19 illness after two doses.
• Moderna vaccine is 94.1% effective after two doses.
Facts about Covid-19 Viral Vector Vaccines: Johnson & Johnson Vaccine (1 Dose)
• Viral Vector Vaccines use a modified version of a different virus (the vector) to deliver instructions to our cells to make the protein that triggers our immune response to COVID-19.
• Viral Vector Vaccines cannot give someone Covid-19 or other infections.
• Scientists began creating viral vectors in the 1970s.
• They have been studied for gene therapy, to treat cancer, and for molecular biology research.
• Some vaccines recently used for Ebola outbreaks have used viral vector technology.
• J&J vaccine was 74.4% effective in U.S clinical trials at preventing lab confirmed Covid-19 illness.
Although it appears less effective than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the J&J vaccines was tested in an environment when many more COVID variants were present. All three vaccines are considered highly efficacious in preventing severe infection, hospitalization and death in people who did had COVID-19 disease.
Common side effects for all three vaccines:
Pain, redness and swelling at the injection site.
Fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea.
The severity of these side effects varies from person to person and usually last only a few days.
Things to remember:
• For both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, both doses that you receive should be from the same manufacturer.
• Remember to bring your vaccination card with you for the second vaccine appointment.
• Keep your vaccination card in a safe place. Make copies of it or keep a picture of it on your phone.
• If you have already had COVID-19 disease, you should still get vaccinated. It is still now clear how long natural immunity to the disease last after you have had it.
• After you are fully vaccinated against COVID, it is still recommended that you practice good hand hygiene and follow mask and social distancing guidelines.
Further information can be found on the following websites:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
New York State Department of Health
NYS Vaccination Eligibility Checker
Key Info from Diocese Regarding In-Person Gatherings 
Recent Updates These guidelines will be updated, and parish leaders notified, as necessary.
These guidelines are effective as of March 24, 2021.
Highlights of current guidelines:
● In-person gatherings for worship and other purposes are limited to 50% of maximum occupancy for the gathering space. Six feet of distance must be maintained between household groups. (Previously, in-person gatherings were limited to 50 individuals or 33% of maximum occupancy.)
● Decisions about whether to resume or expand in-person gatherings within the scope of these guidelines should be made collaboratively by clergy and vestry. In-person gatherings may not be appropriate for every congregation. Effective March 24, 2021; last updated March 24, 2021
● Guidelines for singing at in-person gatherings remain the same: Singing is prohibited, except by one person per service who maintains at least 15 feet of physical distance from all others. It is strongly recommended, but not required, that the soloist wear a mask when singing. Participants should be informed in advance that singing, which poses a greater risk of viral transmission, will be part of the service.
● Individuals who have received the COVID-19 vaccination must follow all masking, hygiene, and physical distancing protocols when attending church-sponsored in-person gatherings.
Returning to In-Person Worship-Letter from Becky
Onondaga County Health Dept. Updates:  CLICK HERE
NYS Coronavirus Updates:  CLICK HERE