St. Mary’s Faith Community & COVID-19
3/10/2020-Mass & Diocesan COVID-19
COVID-19 Additional tips at keeping our parish healthy/safe, per DOB guidelines 3/10/2020. The CDC recommends everyday preventative actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses such as Coronavirus:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow vs. your hand (you can spread germs when touching items after coughing or sneezing into your hand).
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases including Coronavirus.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of Coronavirus to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
- Wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds before eating, blowing your nose, coughing, and sneezing. If soap and water is not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
The Diocesan guidelines recommend key actions to be taken in parishes, as follows:
- Ask anyone with cold or flu symptoms to refrain from the physical sign of peace, taking communion from the Chalice and advise they should receive the host on the hand only. (We should be doing this anyway, every ‘flu season.)
(Note: Concern has been raised over whether the sharing of the cup at Holy Communion contributes to the spread of the flu and any other contagious disease. The best information available regarding the risk of transmission of disease from the use of a common Communion cup is that the risk is “very low.” A report by the Center for Disease Control published in the American Journal of Infection Control stated that “the risk for infectious disease transmission by a common communion cup is very low, and appropriate safeguards-that is, wiping the interior and exterior rim between communicants, use of care to rotate the cloth during use, and use of a clean cloth for each service-would further diminish this risk.” Nevertheless, the CDC advises that persons with an “active respiratory infection, e.g., a cold or flu,” should refrain from receiving from the common cup/chalice.)
- Ensure good regular cleaning of surfaces lots of people touch regularly, including such things as door handles. This is being done at St. Mary’s already.
- Ask everyone attending Mass to sanitize their hands as they come into church using sanitized gel dispensers). Dispensers are located at all St. Mary’s church entrances.
- Ensure ministers of the Eucharist sanitize their hands before and after distributing communion (we should be doing this anyway as a matter of course.) Hand sanitizer is used by St. Mary’s Eucharistic Ministers every time they approach the altar to distribute communion.
3/8/2020 – St. Mary’s Faith Community and COVID-19
St. Mary’s Parish & School are very serious about protecting the health of our parishioners and school families. There are many things done on our campus to prevent the spread of disease and protect against illnesses such as COVID-19. Most procedures have already been in place for quite a while, but we have recently added extra precautions.
Current heath protections include:
- Hand sanitizer dispensers installed in all classrooms, parish center rooms and at our church entrances.
- A special electrostatic disinfectant sprayer is regularly used in the school, parish center and Churches for surface disinfection.
- Water in the Church’s baptismal font has a chlorine additive that kills bacteria and viruses.
- Before they assist with distribution of the Body of Christ, Eucharistic Ministers apply hand sanitizer from dispensers located in the alcove to the left of the altar.
- Bob Zilliox, JCL, Pastor, has suspended distribution of the Blood of Christ at all Masses until further notice.
- During the Sign of Peace at all Masses, we continue to discourage hand shaking and recommend that a verbal peace wish be offered until further notice.
- Teaching and constant reinforcement of proper handwashing techniques is a part of our school atmosphere.
- Parish/School cleaning service uses cleaning products that kill viruses and bacteria. There is an enhanced focus on disinfecting ‘touch points’ such as door knobs, railings, etc., in all common areas.
For More information on COVID-19, visit the CDC website @https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html