The Ontario government has announced the end of public masking requirements in most non-medical settings effective Monday, March 21, 2022. Churches, missions, halls, and offices in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Peterborough will no longer require masking effective Monday, March 21, 2022.
Local health units and/or municipalities may issue orders or recommendations related to the wearing of face masks if the infection levels increase in a specific area. Where there are Orders in place from local health units that may differ from the provincial policy, parishes will comply with the Order. Where the local unit issues a recommendation for the wearing of masks, the clergy and Extraordinary Ministers of Communion should prudently consider wearing a face mask while distributing Communionas an advisable health precaution.
Some people will still want to wear masks in churches and offices, and they should not be discouraged from doing so. Continuing to wear a face mask amid health precautions easing in Ontario is a "personal choice" related to the individual’s assessment of risk factors such as an underlying health condition or a family member with an underlying health condition or other personal considerations.
While the parishes and missions pastorally welcome the return of parishioners, let us do everything possible to support the sense of welcome and kindness. Pastors may consider continuing to maintain the physical distance of 6 feet by roping of pews in one section of the church or mission.
Let’s make a special effort to welcome all the faithful back to church and do everything we can to ensure that people have positive experiences when they come back to their parishes and missions.
Updates on Covid-19 Health precautions:
Indoor masking requirements are lifted in churches, parish halls and offices starting on Monday, March 21, 2022.
Churches can currently rent their halls, and food/drink can currently be served in halls.
Starting Monday, March 21, all Covid-19 health precautions are lifted in parish halls
Starting on Monday, March 21, health precautions on choir activities are lifted.
Clergy and lay staff who have a Covid-19 close contact or who experience symptoms or test positive for the Covid-19 virus are reminded to continue following the current health unit guidelines and provincial regulations that apply to close contacts, the onset of symptoms or a positive test result.
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