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August 24, 2020   |   VOL. 1 No. 19
Guidelines are Working
No outbreak linked to COVID-19 has happened at a Catholic church despite more than a million public Masses celebrated over the past four months across the U.S. Please read this article, which highlights your great work here in the Archdiocese of Seattle. Thank you for your continued diligence to all the guidance.
The Importance of Masks
Every liturgical minister (including deacons and priests) must wear a mask and observe physical distancing during the Mass. The only exceptions for wearing a mask are:
  • When a priest is celebrating at the altar or reading from the ambo.
  • When a lector or deacon is reading the Sacred Scriptures, at which time they must be 12 feet away from anyone else. 
  • When a cantor is singing the Psalms, at which time they must be 30 feet away from anyone else. (Note: It is highly recommended that cantors wear masks at all times; it should be an exception that the cantor does not wear a mask.)
We are still strongly discouraging congregational singing at this time. While singing adds a nice element to our liturgy, it is not necessary. Data is clear that the coronavirus respiratory droplets spread farther when people cough, speak loudly or sing. For this reason, we will continue to strongly discourage it. While some may see this decision as more restrictive than the governor’s new guidance, we stand by this decision to keep everyone safe – especially those who are unable to wear a mask during our liturgies.

Faith Formation
New guidance around faith formation will be out in the next few days. Please note that most faith formation will start online, so please plan to develop a remote learning experience for your parish. Thank you for your patience!

Safety Officers
In addition to the Parish COVID-19 Safety Supervisor, each school has its own COVID-19 Safety Supervisor. These two key safety roles MUST work together to ensure all employees and volunteers complete the employee safety training and follow all the safety and cleaning protocols at all events taking place on the parish or school campus.
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