Upon review of the Santa Clara County’s August 2nd Public Health Order, the Diocese of San José will be following the Order in the following ways effective immediately:
- Masks will be required for all at indoor worship except presiders, deacons, and lectors when they are proclaiming the Word, leading prayer, or preaching at least six feet from anyone else and except cantors while they are singing at least 12 feet from anyone not of their household.
- Masks will be required for all at indoor non-worship gatherings.
- Employees, volunteers, and visitors will be required to wear masks when indoors, except when alone in an office.
- Social distancing, which is no longer required by public health except for schools, will be at the discretion of the pastor based on the needs of his community.
- Chancery and parish employees will continue to work three days in office and two days telecommuting.
We understand it is hard to take several steps forward and one step back as transmission of the virus has once again surged with the new Delta variant, particularly in areas where vaccination rates remain low.
As a reminder, we wear masks for the protection of our fellow employees, volunteers and parishioners, for the care of those most vulnerable – the immunocompromised and children – and for the greater public health of our communities as we work to prevent this Delta variant from spreading and other variants from gaining traction.
It’s important to note that a return to masks for those who are vaccinated does not mean the COVID-19 vaccines do not work. Vaccines continue to be extremely effective, particularly at preventing severe illness, but they may not always be completely effective at preventing infection or transmission of the Delta variant. According to the CDC, new data show the Delta variant is highly contagious. It’s more transmissible than the flu, the common cold and is on par with chickenpox, which is considered to be the most contagious of common viruses. Still, the vaccines continue to prevent most infections and almost all hospitalization.
If you have yet to get a vaccine, we strongly encourage you to do so. The Diocese has a webpage summarizing the Catholic Teachings on vaccinations and the COVID vaccine that you can review and share with your communities – https://www.dsj.org/covid19vaccines/
Together, we can put this pandemic behind us. This new variant is not an unsurmountable setback – just the next hurdle on this journey. Our top priority remains the health and safety of our employees, clergy and volunteers and those we serve and minister to in our diocese.