On March 14, 2020 our bishop wrote a letter to the clergy of the diocese that said, in part, the following:
“Because the virus is now here, I am requesting all clergy to announce this Sunday that those who are at risk for serious infections should now refrain from attending church and other large gatherings until Easter to protect their health. Our parishioners will have the freedom to decide for themselves if they wish to stay home as a Lenten practice.”
From Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Website:
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, you can take simple steps to protect yourself and your family.
- Stay home if you’re sick
- Avoid contact with sick people when possible
- Cover your cough and sneezes with the crook of your elbow or a tissue
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth and wash your hands frequently
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
Call ahead to a healthcare professional if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread. Tell your healthcare professional about your recent travel or contact. Your healthcare professional will work with your state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
Who is at higher risk?
Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness.
- Older adults
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
Take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick
If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.
- Stock up on supplies.
- Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.
- When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
- Avoid crowds as much as possible.
- Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
- During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.