As Catholics, mass is a core part of our lives. We are now able to go back to mass if we take the right precautions to keep one another safe.

None of us will soon forget the fear and uncertainties that came with the pandemic last year, but the medical and scientific communities have made incredible strides in understanding how we can protect ourselves and each other from the virus. This is a historic time in many ways.

We know that all of the COVID-19 vaccines are effective, and they offer protection against severe disease. The benefits of vaccination are proven, and if you have not yet gotten vaccinated, I encourage you to do so! It is a tangible step towards normalcy, and one of the best precautions you can take as we return to our regular activities, including mass.

Going back to mass safely is possible, especially if we all keep in mind the commonsense measures we have become accustomed to over the past year – practicing good hand hygiene and disinfecting high-touch surfaces. If you are high-risk, live with a high-risk family member, or have not been vaccinated, you should wear a mask and physically distance from others when you attend mass. Even if you are vaccinated, it is prudent to maintain a distance of approximately 3 feet from others. Whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, do not attend mass if you experience any possible symptoms of COVID-19. With these precautions, we can keep the risk of spreading COVID-19 at mass as low as possible. 

Walid Michelen, MD, SVP Clinical Planning & Innovation and Chief Medical Officer at ArchCare and Mana Rao, MD, Infectious Disease Medical Director at ArchCare

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