The Tablet Staff
WINDSOR TERRACE — The Diocese of Brooklyn has issued guidelines to parishioners to help prevent cases of coronavirus at Mass.
Please see list below for the specific recommendations and practices that churches in the diocese are following in light of the coronavirus, which as of March 6 has infected more than 100,000 worldwide, including 233 in the United States.
The virus has killed 14 in the U.S., and there are 33 confirmed cases in New York state.
The diocese said it is monitoring the virus by staying in touch with state and city officials and with emergency health officials.
For more information in general about how to safe during this period when coronavirus is spreading, you can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Protection at www.cdc.gov.
Church Safety Measures
>> Communion: It is strongly suggested that Communion be received in the hand at this time. All involved in the liturgy should disinfect their hands before the distribution.
>> Precious Blood: The distribution of the Precious Blood has been suspended. This policy has been in place all flu season.
>> Sign of Peace: The exchange of peace with a handshake has been suspended for now.
>> Holy Water: Holy water fonts may be empty. You should not feel obligated to use holy water upon entering or leaving church.
>> Greetings: It is highly recommended that you avoid a handshake when greeting the celebrant or one another before or after Mass.
>> Illness: It is important that Catholics in Brooklyn and Queens use common sense when deciding whether to come to Mass. If you are not feeling well, you should stay home.
Click here to read a letter to the Faithful from the Office of the Vicar General regarding precautions being taken at Mass throughout the Brooklyn Diocese: