While Vermont has no reported cases of coronavirus at this time, Bishop Christopher J. Coyne of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington has released a notice to all parishes within the Diocese effective Wednesday, March 4, 2020, to temporarily suspend communion from the cup until further notice.

Additionally, until further notice, the Sign of Peace at Mass is not to include any physical contact. The practice of holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer should cease as well.

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to limit potential exposure to viruses, such as the novel coronavirus, pastors have been asked to regularly communicate to their parishioners that if one is sick, he or she should stay home and not attend Mass. The obligation to attend Mass in such cases is lifted. Priests, lay ministers, and all present for liturgy should be mindful of and practice good hygiene measures.

For additional information regarding the novel coronavirus and preventative measures, please visit the CDC’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html