03 Mar 2020
Protocols re Coronavirus
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
At present there is no indication of the spread of coronavirus in South Australia. This offers us time to consider how we might respond to the virus before any urgency arises, and to play our part in preventing spread in the community. After extensive consultation with medical experts, and in order to be well prepared I am implementing the following guidelines effective from this coming weekend, Sunday March 8.
I ask that parishes and communities throughout the Archdiocese of Adelaide and Diocese of Port Pirie observe the following temporary protocols until the risk of spread has passed:
1. Ensure that shared church and office surfaces and equipment are kept clean with use of disinfectant. (Clinell Universal Wipes are effective and inexpensive.)
2. Cease distribution of Holy Communion by Chalice for the time being.
3. Cease distribution of Holy Communion on the tongue for the time being in order to avoid transfer of saliva.
4. Ensure that all Ministers of Holy Communion clean their hands with an alcohol based gel or rub before and after distributing Holy Communion, and avoid all skin to skin contact.
5. Temporarily empty Holy Water stoops of water.
6. Make alcohol based gels or rubs available at entrances and around our churches and shared spaces.
7. Avoid physical contact at the Sign of Peace for the time being.
8. If anyone has been in contact with a coronavirus affected place or person within the last 14 days and is experiencing cold or flu like symptoms, remain away from Mass till the symptoms have passed or cleared by a doctor. Their Sunday Mass obligation will be met by a time of prayer at home.
I thank you for your support in implementing these temporary measures which may offer comfort to those who are experiencing any anxiety at this time, and will hopefully assist in supporting the general welfare of our Catholic and wider community,
Yours in Christ
Bishop Gregory O'Kelly SJ, Apostolic Administrator
Bishop of Diocese of Port Pirie
Fr Philip Marshall, Administrator Delegate