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ADDENDUM to COVID-19 guidelines | Changes Effective 24 February 2022

February 24, 2022

ADDENDUM to
COVID-19 guidelines
from Bishop Brian Mascord

as of 24 February 2022

My Dear Brothers and Sisters

Please find the following outline of our COVID-19 Guidelines which are up to date as of Wednesday 23rd February in accordance with current health guidelines.

Density Limits

There are no density limits for Mass, Funerals and Weddings. Parishes can set their own density limits, where appropriate, to ensure the safety of parishioners (e.g in holiday times where churches may be overflowing).

QR Code

COVID-19 Safe QR check-ins are no longer required for entry to the church. It is not compulsory for COVID-19 Safe QR check-in processes at parish offices, however, parishes can continue this practice if they deem it necessary.

Singing

Congregational singing is allowed.

Masks

Masks are currently required for any person over 12 years of age in indoor settings until 24 February.

From 25 February, masks are not compulsory, however, masks should be worn by clergy and special ministers when providing ministry to the sick and vulnerable.

Monitors

Monitors are no longer required to verify or check in attendees.

Parish offices and meetings

Meetings at parish offices and meeting rooms are allowed. These should be undertaken with careful consideration to social distancing, ventilation and the vulnerability of attendees. Parishes should ensure the health and safety of parish staff and parishioners is considered when undertaking meetings and gatherings.

Ash Wednesday

Consistent with previous advice received from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments during the pandemic, sprinkling of ashes on congregants heads will continue this Ash Wednesday out of an abundance of caution and love.

Other considerations

Communion should continue to be administered in the hand and the chalice reserved for the priest.

Holy water Stoups should remain empty and the sign of peace should continue as current practice with the congregation refraining from shaking hands. The dispensation from the Sunday obligation will remain in place for the time being. I will be reviewing these considerations with the Council of Priests over the coming weeks.

Overall Risk Management

The situation regarding COVID-19 remains very uncertain and the virus is more prevalent than at any time during this pandemic. Parishes are encouraged to actively manage their unique environment to keep staff, parishioners and visitors safe using considered prudential judgements.

I wish you God’s blessings as you prepare for the season of Lent.

Most Rev Brian G Mascord DD
Bishop of Wollongong
24 February 2022

download ADDENDUM to COVID-19 guidelines AS OF 24 February 2022

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