Directives for the Flu Season for Ministers, Altar Servers and Parishioners in Liturgical Celebrations
Please note the following Directives for the Flu Season for Ministers, Altar Servers and Parishioners in Liturgical Celebrations:
- Do NOT come to Mass when you have flu-like symptoms.
- Do NOT bring sick children to Mass or to school.
- Symptoms of flu in humans includes: Cough, fever, sore throat, stuffy nose, chills, headache and body aches, fatigue, (and sometimes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea).
- Do NOT shake hands (e.g., greetings and sign of peace) if you have a scratchy throat, the “sniffles,” coughing, or sneezing.
- It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that Pastors not distribute the Precious Blood (the chalice) during the flu season. We DISCOURAGE distribution of the Host on the tongue until this flu epidemic has passed. Doing so can contaminate the entire ciborium if a finger touches an infected person on the tongue or mouth, and then returns to the ciborium.
- Wash your hands well with hot water and soap (20 seconds) before and after Mass. When you can’t wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer like sanitizing hand wipes, “Purell” or like products that have alcohol based anti-bacterial solution, especially before distributing communion.
- If possible, get the flu shot, get plenty of rest, eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water.
- Wash your hands before and after touching your eyes, face or mouth.
- Eucharistic Ministers MUST wash hands with an alcohol (62%) based anti bacterial solution immediately before and after distributing the Eucharist.
- Strongly encourage children and pregnant women to receive flu vaccinations.
Remind God’s People that they are excused from attending Mass if they are ill with the flu or have reason to believe that they have flu-like symptoms. Those who must care for a sick family member at home, or who reasonably fear they will spread a flu virus if they leave home are also excused from Mass. Weekend Masses, school attendance, and other gatherings and celebrations will only be suspended in the case of a local epidemic, or threat of one.