ews coverage of the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases worldwide has led to some understandable concern among the faithful. The number of cases in the province of Ontario remain low, with 17 confirmed positive cases of the coronavirus as of March 3, 2020.
The Archdiocese of Toronto’s goal is to act responsibly, based on credible information from reliable sources. We have been in regular contact with local health officials and will continue this dialogue. Information from the provincial website (Ontario.ca/COVID-19) provides basic background on the coronavirus and practical advice for all organizations:
Coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through close contact, for example, in a household, workplace or health care centre.
There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses. Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health:
Regarding liturgical practices, local health officials have indicated that it is not necessary to alter current practices at this time. Parishes have been asked to ensure that those distributing communion wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before and after the distribution of communion. The latest communication from the City of Toronto Medical Health Officer can be found here (https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/957d-MOH-Statement_2March2020_FINAL.pdf) for more information.
Please continue to pray for all those impacted by the coronavirus. Be assured that we will continue to work with local health officials and keep you updated as appropriate.