CHICAGO (CBS) —  As concerns over how coronavirus/CONVID-19 is spread, the Archdiocese of Chicago issued guidelines for those participating in mass throughout the city and suburbs.

Effective immediately, all priests, deacons, altar servers and ministers handling communion must wash their hands before mass and use an alcohol-based anti-bacterial solution before and after distributing communion.

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Vessels holding water and wine are to be thoroughly washed with soap and hot water after each use.

During liturgies and the mass, the archdiocese issued the following directive:

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  • Refrain from physical contact during the Sign of Peace (note: the Sign of Peace can be exchanged without physical contact)
  • Refrain from distribution of Holy Communion to the faithful via the chalice (priests are encouraged to consider options for any parishioners with celiac disease or sensitivity)
  • Given the frequency of direct contact with saliva in the distribution of Holy Communion on the tongue, every consideration should be given by each individual to receive Holy Communion reverently in open hands for the time being.
  • Refrain from holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer.
  • Refrain from using Holy Water fonts.

And as with other preventative measures for coronavirus, anyone who is sick or having symptoms of being sick is urged to stay home.

There have been four confirmed cases of coronavirus in Illinois. The University of Chicago said the medical center is in the process of admitting a patient suspected of having coronavirus.

For more information on conronavirus, visit the CBS 2 Coronavirus Facts page.

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