Out of an abundance of caution in wake of the coronavirus, the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego announced changes that parishioners and the public will see at Mass moving forward.
Until further notice, parishioners will suspend the practice of sharing Communion via cup. Distributing the Eucharist will continue to be done so by hand and placing in on the tongue will be limited.
The diocese also asks worshippers to be prudent during the Sign of Peace, which is the part of Mass when attendants hug one another or share hugs.
Despite the changes, Bishop Robert McElroy, the head of San Diego’s diocese, reminds the public that the threat level of COVID-19 is low in the county.
“We know the anxiety level is high, but the level of the virus in our population remains low, far smaller than the seasonal flu,” he said in a statement.
COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, has claimed the lives of 11 people in the U.S. as of Wednesday. Symptoms of the illness include shortness of breath, fever, cough and breathing difficulties.
Health officials urge the public to thoroughly wash their hands as a means to stay healthy.