Sent by Bishop Vasa July 4, 2020

The following is excerpted from Bishop Vasa’s instructions to diocesan priests:

Last night, Friday, July 3, Governor Newsom did not provide a press briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic; however the California Department of Public Health published new and updated guidelines. Below are details regarding the Governor’s orders and guidelines for various sectors, including restaurants and places of worship.

                Here is the link to the Guidance issued for places of worship: (guidance docs here).

The Document is quite specific. Here is the pertinent portion:  Considerations for Places of Worship

Discontinue offering self-service food and beverages. Do not hold potlucks or similar family-

style eating and drinking events that increase the risk of cross contamination. If food and beverages must be served,

provide items in single-serve, disposable containers whenever possible.

Workers or volunteers serving food should wash hands frequently and wear disposable gloves

Discontinue singing (in rehearsals, services, etc.), chanting, and other practices and performances where there is increased likelihood for

transmission from contaminated exhaled droplets. Consider practicing these activities through alternative methods (such as internet streaming)

that ensure individual congregation members perform these activities separately in their own homes

Consider modifying practices that are specific to particular faith traditions that might encourage the spread of COVID-19. Examples are

discontinuing kissing of ritual objects, allowing rites to be performed by fewer people, avoiding the use of a common cup, offering communion

in the hand instead of on the tongue, providing pre-packed communion items on chairs prior to service, etc., in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Updated Guidance Documents

The Governor has ordered everyone to wear a face covering/mask when outside their homes and outdoors when in situations where the minimum physical distance of 6’ is not possible (read more here). Nineteen counties are currently on the state’s Monitoring List (find the Monitoring List here). The new order applies to counties on the Monitoring List for 14 days or longer and requires the closure of bars and indoor operations must cease at dine-in restaurants (find guidance docs here), museums, zoos, family entertainment centers, movie theaters, and card rooms (read more here). Counties on the Monitoring List for three consecutive days, must close bars upon order of the local Public Health Director (read guidance for bar closures here). New guidance documents were also published for other organizations where people gather in larger numbers, including gyms (guidance docs here) and places of worship  Find guidance documents for all other sectors here.