Catholic Churches Take Action Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Changes are coming to Mass to help prevent the potential spread of the virus.

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This week the Archdiocese of Hartford announced precautions in the face of growing fears as the novel coronavirus spreads.

Those steps include avoiding handshaking in church, modifications to Communion and collection baskets should only be handled by ushers.

Church leaders urge people who are sick not to even attend Mass.

The Vatican recently announced Pope Francis was suffering from a cold following a report he had tested negative for coronavirus.

“The way we think most of the transmission occurs is by droplets,” said Dr. Stephanie Wright of Hartford Hospital.

Wright said when a contagious person coughs or sneezes, droplets can end up on someone else close by and then cause problems when they get in the person’s eyes, nose or mouth.

Her best advice for prevention?

“It’s handwashing, right, and using good respiratory etiquette,” said Wright.

Good handwashing was also urged of priests and deacons by Hartford Archbishop Leonard Blair.

In his letter outlining the other measures that should be taken, he wrote this was an effort to protect the health of everyone.

He added, “We also need to pray for an end to this illness throughout the world, and for those who are afflicted by it.”

The Diocese of Bridgeport issued similar guidelines after hearing from people who came forward with concerns.

It calls for its churches to be properly disinfected and for the Holy Water to be changed more frequently.

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