MEMPHIS, Tenn.— Just as many churches are trying to return to worship as normal as possible, a new and potentially more severe COVID variant has church leaders on guard.

Reverend Bill Adkins of Greater Imani Church returned to in person service around Easter. He is now preparing for Omicron’s impact.

“Now that the Omicron virus is around, the same feelings we had back in January and February of last year are cropping back again,” he said. “I’m just trying to stay ahead with the best we can and make sure that we’re safe as we can be.”

Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church returned to in-person service at the beginning of December, limiting the number of people allowed in.

“We’re only allowing 300 persons to enter for that service,” Pastor Jason Lawrence Turner said. “Also, in order to come, we ask you to go through a health questionnaire.”

Pastor Turner also said they are actively looking at the trend of the virus.

“We attempt to meet every week to look at the trend lines over the past seven days to get an understanding from not only from a healthcare perspective, but also how various other entities in our city are functioning in the pandemic,” he said.

Bishop Brandon Porter’s Greater Community Temple is pushing for church members and the community to get vaccinated and tested.

“We have been pushing vaccinations,” Bishop Porter said. “We are also doing an on-site testing for COVID everyday Monday through Friday. We have staff that are trained in Chicago to know how to do this.”

Bishop Porter also said they can only control one thing, and that is taking precautions.

“We can only control what we can control, and that is getting vaccinated,” Bishop Porter said. “Being tested and washing your hands, watching a distance wearing the mask and just being careful.”