PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Masks are making a comeback in some churches.
The Diocese of Pittsburgh has updated its policies to reflect the spread of the Delta variant. And churches from different backgrounds are doing the same things to protect their congregations.
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As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise, places of worship are updating their safety guidelines for those attending the service.
“It’s as frustrating for us as it is for everyone in the country,” said Father James Orr of St. Stanislaus Church.
Father Orr is a priest at Saint-Stanislas Church. The frustration he talks about is the ever-changing practices to protect the church and worshipers from COVID-19.
“We are doing what is necessary to stop the spread of the disease, and we want to be as careful as possible about it,” he said.
The diocese urged Catholics to wear masks indoors and get vaccinated. Outdoor Mass will continue until further notice. And with mass bonds resuming next weekend, people with health risks are encouraged to stay home.
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Meanwhile, similar mitigation efforts are being made at Mt. Baptist Church of Ararat.
“We are 6 feet from each other. And you see Mass, they clean up after every service, ”Joan Howard told Mt. Baptist Church of Ararat.
From live streaming to in-person services, places of worship are now very careful in their operation.
“Every week is different from the last two weeks we’ve been here. So everything went well. But with the numbers increasing, there is a healthy fear that we will shut down again, ”Thomas Tarpley told Mt. Baptist Church of Ararat.
However, some congregations believe that there may be a light at the end of this tunnel.
“These pandemics are always going to come and go,” Howard said. “I don’t believe there will be a time when they are totally gone, I mean the flu is still here. So the church will have to adapt.
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With the ever-changing dynamics of the virus, it is understood that religious leaders are going to be flexible. Policies could change based on county, state and federal government guidelines.