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The pandemic continues to persist throughout Ontario and across the diocese. As such, the health
and wellbeing of all people must always be put at the forefront of our decision-making process. We
offer the following guidance, consistent with public health advice and the Green Stage of Ecclesiastical
Province of Ontario’s pandemic framework, confident in the knowledge that parish leaders and
parishioners will make prudent and responsible decisions.

  1. Clergy, staff, and parishioners are encouraged to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms and to
    stay home if feeling unwell.
  2. Well-fitted masks, preferably medical masks or respirators, are strongly recommended to be
    worn by all people when in indoor public settings as well as in crowded, enclosed and closecontact settings, and in other situations if people are at high risk for severe illness, recovering
    from COVID-19, are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, as well as for those
    ministering with young children, and other vulnerable and/or unvaccinated populations.
    Masking continues to be required in long-term care and retirement homes.
  3. Enhanced mechanical ventilation should be facilitated wherever possible, with HVAC system
    fans running continuously during activities to increase air exchange. Alternatively, or in
    addition, natural ventilation should be facilitated by opening windows and doors to the outside.
  4. Hand sanitizer stations (with at least 60% alcohol content) should be placed throughout
    church buildings to assist with maintaining good hand hygiene.
  5. Purificators should be changed regularly as the chalice is shared; clergy and communion
    assistants are strongly encouraged to be masked while distributing communion. All vessels
    and linens set out for worship must be thoroughly cleaned after use.
  6. Clergy and lay pastoral assistants who have symptoms of COVID-19 should refrain from
    providing in-person pastoral care to high-risk persons for a full 10 days after onset.
  7. In-person pastoral visits with those who are self-isolating, those who have COVID-19, or those
    residing in facility where an outbreak has been declared are discouraged.
  8. A service of Eucharist with spiritual communion may be livestreamed, either as a standalone
    online worship service or as part of a hybrid service with in-person and online congregations.
  9. Vestry meetings are to be conducted in-person or virtually, in accordance with the regulations
    approved by Synod Council and published on the online diocesan COVID-19 resource hub.
  10. Clergy are encouraged to seek guidance from the executive officer in the event of a COVID-19
    outbreak related to a church service, ministry, or gathering.

In addition, all clergy, staff, and parishioners are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated to protect
against COVID-19 and to stay current with any booster doses for which they are eligible.

For more information related to COVID-19, please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada.