Archdiocese of Newark Issues Guidance to Priests, Religious, and Parishioners regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
As mentioned at Masses over the weekend, in response to concerns about the Coronavirus, Cardinal Tobin directed Catholic churches in the Archdiocese to implement precautionary measures.
You can read more at RCAN.org, but the key points of the directive are as follows:
“In light of the coronavirus, the uncertainty of how widespread and impactful it is and/or could be and as a precaution, Cardinal Tobin has directed the following:
- Priests, deacons, and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are urged to practice good hygiene, washing their hands before Mass begins and/or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer solution before and after distributing Holy Communion—as is practiced in so many of our parishes and institutions already.
- The Archdiocese has always advised the faithful that sickness is a valid reason not to attend Mass or other Church gatherings. As such, any individual who is sick or has flu-like symptoms is urged to stay home. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is broadcast on several television channels and the sick can make a “spiritual communion” until they return to good health.
- The sign of peace should be exchanged without physical contact.
- Distribution of the Precious Blood of Christ from the chalice to parishioners is to be suspended. Furthermore, no member of the faithful is obliged to receive the Body of Christ on the tongue.”