Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Steps up Preventive Guidelines due to Increasing Number of Positive Cases of COVID-19
Due to the increasing number of positive cases in our county, region, and state, the Pennsylvania Department of Health updated the requirements to help with preventing the spread of infection.
Information can be found HERE.
Excerpts from the directives include the following text:
- Everyone must wear a face covering when indoors, irrespective of physical distance, however, if a person is working alone, and has no expectation of being around other persons, they do not need to do so.The Order requires individuals to wear a “face covering.” “Face covering” means covering of the nose and mouth with material that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is wrapped around the lower face. A “face covering” can be made of a variety of synthetic or natural fabrics, including cotton, silk or linen. A “face covering” may be factory-made, sewn by hand, or be improvised from household items including, but not limited to, scarfs, bandanas, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.
- When outdoors, one must wear a face covering when with others who are not members of the person’s household and unable to maintain sustained physical distance.
- Sustained physical distance means the practice of staying at least six feet away from others to avoid becoming a close contact. On October 21, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its definition of close contact to “someone who was within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.” The guidance goes on to note that there are additional factors to consider when defining “close contact.”
- DOH recommends using 15 consecutive minutes of exposure at a distance of six feet or less as an operational definition for “close contact.” However, there are circumstances when someone should be considered a close contact of a case after being within six feet for fewer than 15 consecutive minutes. Additional factors that should be considered when assessing close contacts include but are not limited to close proximity to an infected person, infected person exhibiting symptoms, and environmental conditions like crowds or inadequate ventilation.
For additional details and answers to questions, please visit the link above.
Need to Continue Following Guidelines for Prevention of COVID-19
Our local Pennsylvania Parishes continue to follow the guidelines in place advised by both the The Office of Bishop Kurt Burnette, Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic and the Department of Health guidelines of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Be aware that while we express our weariness of the limitations and restrictions in place going on now for months, that until an approved vaccine is available, as faithful citizens and Christians we need to continue our efforts. It is important to protect others least we slip into complacency or an even more hazardous attitude of denial of the risk. It is entirely possible that a simple single act of omission in following the guidelines can put someone we love, someone we know, or an entire group of people, including our faith community in harm’s way. There is no doubt that the virus is real and because the severity and consequences is unpredictable for each person, it is prudent to err on the side of caution at all times. Please continue to think of others and act responsibly in your interactions in all settings. Be safe and be a “best practice” warrior on this fight against the spread!
SPECIAL COVID-19 NOTE: Our parishes are following extremely safe practices with distribution of Holy Communion for those who wish to accept Communion. Individual wooden utensils are used and disposed of (burned) following the standards of the Catholic church. It is not obligatory to receive the Sacrament at each Liturgy, and anyone who is uncomfortable or in a high risk category is encouraged to use their own discretion which is certainly honored respectfully. We pray for protection and for a swift end to the worldwide pandemic crisis.
The most recent and last statement issued by Bishop Kurt can be read on this link:
Letter from Bishop Kurt May 13, 2020