Harrisburg Diocese announces coronavirus precautions

The diocese said the distribution of the Precious Blood by way of the Chalice will be temporarily suspended and the exchange of peace will be omitted from services.

  • Becky Metrick/PennLive

(Harrisburg) — The Harrisburg Diocese has announced temporary precautions will be in place, effective immediately, out of an abundance of caution as the flu remains a threat and coronavirus fears increase around the country.

The diocese said the distribution of the Precious Blood by way of the Chalice will be temporarily suspended and the exchange of peace will be omitted from services.

“The Diocese often asks parishes to suspend the sign of peace and distribution of the Precious Blood during serious flu seasons. This temporary suspension will be lifted once medical professionals indicate the high risk has passed,” Diocese spokeswoman Rachel Bryson said in a statement.

An ambulance worker adjusts her protective mask as she wheels a stretcher into a nursing facility where more than 50 people are sick and being tested for the COVID-19 virus, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, in Kirkland, Wash. Health officials reported two cases of COVID-19 virus connected to the Life Care Center of Kirkland. One is a Life Care worker, a woman in her 40s who is in satisfactory condition at a hospital, and the other is a woman in her 70s and a resident at Life Care who is hospitalized in serious condition. Neither have traveled out of the country.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

An ambulance worker adjusts her protective mask as she wheels a stretcher into a nursing facility where more than 50 people are sick and being tested for the COVID-19 virus, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, in Kirkland, Wash. Health officials reported two cases of COVID-19 virus connected to the Life Care Center of Kirkland. One is a Life Care worker, a woman in her 40s who is in satisfactory condition at a hospital, and the other is a woman in her 70s and a resident at Life Care who is hospitalized in serious condition. Neither have traveled out of the country.

The Pittsburgh Diocese announced similar precautions on Monday, saying that while there are no confirmed coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania, the Center For Disease Control is encouraging preparation and precaution.

Read the full statement from the Harrisburg Diocese here:

“The Diocese of Harrisburg, at the direction of Bishop Gainer, has requested that all parishes and institutions temporarily suspend the distribution of the Precious Blood by way of the Chalice and omit the exchange of peace, effective immediately. This decision was made out of an abundance of caution due to the serious nature of the influenza virus this season and due to public concerns regarding the Coronavirus. The Diocese often asks parishes to suspend the sign of peace and distribution of the Precious Blood during serious flu seasons. This temporary suspension will be lifted once medical professionals indicate the high risk has passed.”

 

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