Precautions during the Coronavirus Pandemic
12 March 2020
Dear Clergy and Vestries,
The World Health Organization has assessed COVID-19 as a pandemic. A pandemic is a disease that causes severe illness, including illness resulting in death, is spread person-to-person and is spreading throughout the entire world. The COVID-19 virus infects people of all ages. Especially at risk are elders, those who have heart disease, lung conditions, diabetics and others with long term illness.
- Although there are no reported cases in our Diocese there are now 117 in Canada. I am deeply concerned and therefore the Diocese must take immediate action to protect those we serve. Those who have symptoms of cold or flu should stay home and not attend services.
- If sick cough and or sneeze in a tissue and immediately throw tissues in garbage and wash hands with soap and warm water for 30 seconds.
- Hygienic Distribution of Holy Communion
- Clergy are to wash their hands before services and before and after Holy Communion and afterwards
- The cup is not to be shared. Only bread will be distributed.
- The bread will be placed in the hands of the people.
- The Offering
- The offering plate will be placed in the front and people may walk forward to place their tithes and offerings in it during the offertory hymn.
- Sharing the Peace
- Avoid shaking hands greet others with your eyes, smiles and nods.
I ask that the following be shared with the parish ASAP and this coming Sunday:
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In attempt to decrease the spread of the Coronavirus we will do some things differently, some of these are:
- We will be observing the Eucharist with the distribution of the bread only.
- The cup will not to be shared and bread will not be dipped in the wine.
- Only bread will be distributed, and it will be placed in your hands.
- The offering plate will be placed in the front and during the offertory hymn we ask
that you walk forward to place your titles and offering in it.
- During the peace avoid shaking hand and hugging. Greet others with your eyes,
smiles and nods.
- Those who have symptoms of cold or flu should stay home and not attend services. If you are sick cough and or sneeze in a tissue and immediately throw tissues in garbage and wash hands with soap and warm water for 30 seconds.
- For those who are high risk (compromised Immune systems) such as, Elders, people with lung conditions, diabetics and others with long term illness we know you may need to stay home and not expose yourselves to the risk. We will make sure we still support and care for you during this time, we will make ways to connect with you that are safe for you and ourselves.
- Before services wash hands with soap and warm water for 30 seconds.
Thank you for helping us in this.
I ask that you enter a time of sincere prayer that God protects us from this coronavirus pandemic and stops it. I ask you to pray for God the Holy Spirit to guide medical scientists to develop a vaccine. I ask you to pray for God to heal the sick and to protect, guide and strengthen our health care workers. I ask you to pray for God to keep our communities safe.
I will follow up this communication when there are further developments.
Your servant in Christ Jesus,
Bishop David W. Parsons