Message from the Archdiocese of Chicago COVID-19 Task Force
We are grateful for the heroic work done these past months by our clergy, school staff and other employees to keep our places of worship, education and work safe for all we serve. As we continue to monitor guidance of public health authorities and respect the input of our employees and school families, we must remain flexible in our policies. Only by doing so can we maintain safety so all feel protected in our facilities.
The rise in the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations attributable to the highly transmissible delta variant understandably has caused a shift in the guidance of public health authorities.
Cook and Lake Counties and the City of Chicago have reached the threshold for “Substantial Transmission” of the virus. Therefore, the Counties’ and Chicago’s Departments of Public Health, consistent with IDPH and the CDC have issued guidelines strongly recommending that all persons, vaccinated or unvaccinated mask in all indoor public spaces.
We will follow this new guidance. Beginning now, it is strongly recommended that all persons entering Archdiocesan facilities be masked regardless of their vaccination status. This applies to parish offices, schools, churches and other public spaces. Observance of this policy aligns us with public health officials layered mitigation strategies. Further guidance on mask usage during liturgies will be forthcoming for clergy and lay ministers. We will release student and staff mask guidelines for the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year shortly
We will continue to monitor the situation and will reevaluate our policy if conditions and public health guidance warrants it. It is our hope and our prayer that measures taken now and scrupulously applied will enable us to adopt a mask-optional policy for vaccinated persons in the future. Certainly we are disappointed and saddened that infection and serious illness rates have again surged. We must do our part to bring the pandemic under control and the suffering to an end. This is both our civic and Christian duty. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to keep each other and the people we serve safe and well.
COVID-19 Task Force