PITTSBURGH (KDKDA) - The Pittsburgh Diocese is making changes to Mass amid the global coronavirus outbreak.
On Monday, Bishop David Zubik issued guidelines for Mass, like temporarily suspending communion wine and shaking hands during the sign of peace. He also ordered holy water fonts to be cleaned and drained on a weekly basis.
"We are not panicking about that," diocese spokesperson Ellen Mady said. "There are no known cases in the area that we know of. What we are encouraging are really just some reasonable precautions to help the elderly the young, those with vulnerable immune systems."
Anyone who feels sick is not "obligated" to attend Sunday Mass.
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The changes are happening immediately at the 170 parishes in the area.
"A Diocesan Bishop is responsible for promoting, regulating and being vigilant over the liturgical life in his diocese," said Bishop Zubik in a press release.
"As such, I am instituting precautions that will serve as preventative steps to help our faith community, and the region as a whole, stay healthy. That is my primary focus."
The changes go into effect immediately until further notice.
There are no confirmed coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania.
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