Faith Formation Update as of 9/23/21. Read more…

What to Do if Parishioner Tests Positive for COVID-19

If your parish receives a report that someone who has attended a Mass at the Parish was subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19, you must contact your local Board of Health. Check with the Board of Health to see what they advise, and then follow the advice, if any is offered. There can be a wide variety of responses. Some boards will actively pursue this, and others will not. Do not presume anything about your local board of health – simply notify them. They may tell you to notify anyone in close contact with the person who got sick.
Note that because we are wearing masks and social distancing, it is unlikely that merely being in the church at the same time as the person who got sick would constitute “close contact.” Nevertheless, it is better to err on the side of caution. So you should take these steps:
  • Make a general announcement to anyone who had signed up to attend the Mass where the exposure might have occurred (if you use a reservation system), on your website and/or through email to those who registered for the Mass in question encouraging them to check with their own physicians and follow their recommendations. See below for sample language.
  • At the very least, parishioners who attended the Mass where the possible exposure occurred should be told to monitor their own health, and if they show any symptoms, contact their own physicians.
  • Because some people who have been exposed to the virus do indeed contract the illness but never show symptoms, you should urge them to at least notify their physician that a possible exposure has occurred.
  • Notify the Office of Risk Management via or 617-746-5750.
  • Prior to reopening the church to the public, conduct a thorough, deep, cleaning and disinfecting of the church in accordance with cleaning guidance provided on the Office of Risk Management website, click here and CDC guidelines, click here. Continue routine cleaning and disinfection. This includes cleaning and disinfecting prior to and after Masses.

Sample Language for COVID-19 Notification

Please be advised that _________ Parish received a report that someone who attended ___service_______ on ___date_______ was subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19. We have notified the ___city/town_______Board of Health. We have also cleaned and disinfected all of the spaces used during the service.  Anyone who may have attended services since that date should monitor their own health and should consider contacting their own physicians for guidance. Thank you for continuing to be vigilant about the importance of social distancing and wearing your mask at all times.

Contact if you have any questions.
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