As you know, Bishop Stika recently lifted the restrictions on offering the sign of peace and the reception of the Precious Blood – because the incident rate for the flu significantly lowered in our diocese, especially in our Catholic and public schools. However, Bishop Stika has been closely monitoring the developments related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and he is re-instituting the following restrictions:
1. Suspend the distribution of the Precious Blood, knowing that one receives the fullness of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Consecrated Host.
2. Suspend offering a physical sign of peace, such as a handshake or a hug, inviting parishioners instead to bow one’s head as they offer peace to those around them. Holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer will remain at the discretion of each family – but all should be mindful that some parishioners may be uncomfortable with physical contact during the Lord’s Prayer.
The aforementioned restrictions go into effect immediately and will remain in effect until such time that Bishop Stika deems appropriate. Additionally, Bishop Stika suggests that you follow the following CDC recommendations:
1. avoid close contact with people who are sick;
2. avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
3. stay home when you are sick;
4. cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash;
5. clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe; and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or, if soap is not available, clean hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
It is important to remember, if you are sick, you are not obligated to attend Mass, school or church activities. If you or your child have symptoms of respiratory illness stay at home until you or your child is free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C], or greater using an oral thermometer), or any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants).