SEATTLE – Archbishop Paul D. Etienne has issued directives for the Archdiocese of Seattle in response to the coronavirus.
“Our response to this spreading virus must reflect how we, as disciples of Jesus, express our love of God and neighbor,” the archbishop wrote in a March 2 letter to parish leaders. “In caring for all members of our community — especially the elderly and the vulnerable — we are carrying out the mission of the church.”
The archbishop urged Catholics to stay home from Mass if they are sick; to practice good hygiene, including frequent hand washing; and to avoid hand-to-hand contact during the Our Father and the sign of peace.
He also said that holy water should be removed from fonts; that Communion hosts should be received only in the hand, not on the tongue; and that the Precious Blood should not be distributed until further notice.
The archbishop urged Catholics to pray for all those affected by the virus.