UPDATE TO COVID RESTRICTIONS
August 8, 2021
Comments from the Diocese
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its COVID-19 recommendations for fully vaccinated people due to the increased surge of the Delta variant in the United States. The recommendations include:
Encouraging fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.
· Getting tested if one is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
· Getting tested 3-5 days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wearing a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure or until a negative test result.
· Isolating if a person has tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
Universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools.
The recommendation for fully vaccinated individuals to continue wearing masks is meant to protect the unvaccinated, including those, such as children under 12, who are not yet eligible for the vaccine.
Please see the important messages below from Bishop McKnight:
New COVID Guidelines
As more people become vaccinated and the number of COVID-19 cases decline in our area, Bishop McKnight has removed the general dispensation from attending Mass in person, as of June 1. We are happy to invite all who have been away to join us to worship together, in person, and to receive the Body of Christ in Holy Communion, which nourishes our souls and heals us of our sins. That’s why we are obliged to participate in the Sunday liturgy each week. Of course, if you are ill, are traveling, or otherwise dispensed from our obligation to participate in the Mass, please continue to join livestreaming Masses. Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you in person at Mass!
See Bishop McKnight’s full decree on the Diocesan website: https://diojeffcity.org - under COVID 19.
Recent statements from some bishops of the Catholic Church and subsequent news stories on these statements have caused public confusion regarding the moral implications of Catholics using the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. I affirm what the Holy See, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Missouri province of Catholic bishops and my own moral analysis have concluded, primarily based on our obligation to serve the common good:
In the current situation of a pandemic, Catholics may in good conscience utilize any of the vaccines currently available, even those derived in an unethical manner, to protect themselves, as well as to avoid the serious risk to vulnerable persons and to society resulting from remaining unvaccinated. If a person concludes he or she cannot be vaccinated, whether for health reasons or if their own moral analysis is different from the Church, they are morally obliged they do everything they can to prevent transmission of the coronavirus and avoid any risk to the health of those who cannot be vaccinated.
As Pope Francis reminds us, in receiving these vaccines we are truly showing love for our neighbor and for God, which is the core teaching of our faith.
BENTON COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT—MASS IMMUNIZATION CLINICS
If you are 65 or over or have a high risk medical condition (18-64) and you would like the Covid vaccine, call the Benton County Health Department for an appointment. They are scheduling clinics for vaccinations. 660.438.2876
Prayer for a Pandemic: May we who are merely inconvenienced, remember those whose lives are at stake. May we who have no risk factors, remember those most vulnerable. May we who have the luxury of working from home, remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent. May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close, remember those who have no options. May we who settle in for a quarantine at home, remember those who have no home. During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors. Amen.