March 13, 2020 5:01 pm

With the CDC deeming COVID-19 (coronavirus) a pandemic, we know there are many questions you may be receiving about what steps the Diocese is taking to reduce the spread of the virus. Below is our plan for the upcoming weekend.

As of now, state officials have NOT recommended or mandated that public events be canceled, but the CDC has encouraged the more vulnerable populations to avoid large crowds. Based on that recommendation, all Masses this weekend should go on as planned.

However, Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone is granting dispensation for Masses this weekend to those who are at high risk for adverse health complications from COVID-19, or do not feel comfortable attending Mass. The Catholic Catechism (2181) allows you to miss Mass as a result of illness.

Here at St. Joseph we have removed the Holy Water from the hand-fonts and the missalettes from the pews. We have also suspended the Sign of Peace and recommend no handholding during the Lord’s Prayer. We have hand sanitizer available at all the entrances.

The CDC recommends the following actions to protect yourself and others from transmitting the coronavirus:
1. Stay home if you are sick.
2. Wash your hands often with soap and water.
3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
4. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
6. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue then throw the tissue away. If tissues are not available, cough or sneeze into your sleeve.