For Immediate Release: February 27, 2020
The Catholic Diocese of Richmond is monitoring the latest information as it relates to the coronavirus (COVID-19), a respiratory illness that has spread internationally.
The Virginia Health Department has stated it is investigating reports of illnesses associated with the coronavirus, however, at this time there are no confirmed cases in Virginia. Read: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/surveillance-and-investigation/novel-coronavirus/
Currently, the diocese has not placed any restrictions on the use of the chalice for holy Communion or the exchange of the Sign of Peace during Mass. The diocesan Office of Worship has prepared guidance for pastors under the current circumstances and during the influenza season, which is normal practice. You can read the guidelines by visiting the Office of Worship website: http://www.cdrworship.org/guidelines-and-policies.
Additionally, no one is under an obligation to receive from the chalice or shake hands during the Sign of Peace. If there is great alarm, pastors may consider discontinuing – temporarily – the practice of offering communion from the chalice.
We continue to hold in prayer all health care workers managing the effort to combat this outbreak globally and all communities affected by the situation.