Red Zone Update. Read more….

Parishes in High Risk Areas (Red Zones)

November 10, 2020
The State of Massachusetts has changed the way in which community level data is assessed.  The red/yellow/green/gray designations are now based on multiple data points and community size.
This change has significantly reduced the number of “red zone” communities in the Archdiocese of Boston.
Our protocols for red zone communities continue in place: temperatures to be taken for all indoor Masses, strict lists kept for all Masses, no in-person faith formation and no other small group meetings, except for limited twelve-step groups (and those only if the pastor is comfortable doing so).
This data is not currently collected in a map – instead, here is a link to the list for this week:  https://www.mass.gov/doc/weekly-covid-19-public-health-report-november-5-2020/download
It appears that the data will be released on Friday afternoons from now on.  We will get you the list as soon as we can, or you can monitor the State site on your own.  We know that the Friday afternoon data release is particularly inconvenient for parishes, but we cannot control that.
While there are fewer communities in the red zone, it should be noted that this is a change in the designation, not a change in the spread of the virus – the number of new cases continues to climb across the State.  Therefore, all parishes, no matter what the color of their zone, should continue to exercise maximum caution during these days.  This includes the wearing of masks (covering both the mouth and the nose), strict social distancing, close attention to ventilation, and the sanitizing of the church after each use.
Questions or concerns can be communicated to corona@rcab.org

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On August 11, Governor Baker released information, which will be updated on a weekly basis, tracking communities at risk for developing a high incidence of COVID. For a link to a map of those communities, please click here

Effective immediately, parishes in communities in this category – red on the map – will be required to:

  1. Take the temperature of every attendee as they come to attend all indoor Masses. The infra-red thermometers issued by the Archdiocese, or equivalent devices, should be used.  Any temperature of 100.4 Fahrenheit (38.0 Celsius) or greater is considered to be a fever by the CDC. Temperature checks should be done as discreetly as possible, and in a location where the thermometers and the people using them are not left standing in the sun, which could impact the reading. If someone registers a temperature of 100.4 or greater, please show them the respect of taking them aside and informing them quietly that they have a fever, and that they should contact their physician. Direct them to a side or second door to exit, so that they are not crossing paths with others waiting to be checked. This applies to weekday Masses and funerals and baptisms and other worship events as well.
  2. Registration for Masses is required. Take (and keep for at least fourteen days) a good list of all people who enter the church for Masses (Sunday and weekday), funerals, baptisms, and any other events, for the sake of contact tracing. This applies to outdoor Masses as well.
  3. The current rules for confessions need to be applied strongly – masks, and six feet or more between the confessor and the penitent. Temperature checks and lists should not be taken for confessions.