On Friday, February 25 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance on COVID-19 community transmission levels and the appropriate mitigation measures to take as we begin to live with this virus as an endemic. Local and statewide data indicate that virus rates are rapidly dropping and will continue to move in that direction.
Based on the data and the updated guidance from the CDC, these are the revised guidelines for the Diocese of Grand Rapids:
- Signs may be removed from the church regarding the request to wear masks.
- Ministers of Holy Communion do not need to wear a mask during distribution. • Due to the vulnerable population served, unvaccinated ministers who bring holy Communion to the homebound must wear a mask.
- Concelebrants should use the intinction method or individual chalices should be provided.
- Priests may return to celebrating the sacrament of penance in the confessional if they so choose.
- The requirement to leave at least one section of the church as socially-distanced seating where mask-wearing is required remains in place through March 31. This area needs to be identified by signs at the entrances, so people know it is available as well as being clearly marked within the nave.
- If you are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or if you have serious health issues, please follow your doctor’s advice regarding wearing a mask and other ways to help protect yourself and others.
- An excusing cause from attending Sunday Mass exists for any individual who cannot physically attend Mass for good reasons.