Latest COVID-19 Updates from the Archdiocese of Brisbane
Dr Jeannette Young, Chief Health Officer, recently announced two positive test results and the potential spread of COVID-19 in the Logan, Acacia Ridge and Springfield Lakes areas.
To help protect the wider community, as well as vulnerable members of our parishes in these areas, all remaining weekday Mass services and gatherings, until 12pm on Saturday August 1, are cancelled with immediate effect.
Impacted parishes include churches in Woodridge, Kingston Marsden, Regent’s Park,
Sunnybank, Acacia Ridge, Inala, Goodna, Springfield, Loganholme, Daisy Hill, Rochedale, Beenleigh, and Beaudesert.
The closure of these parishes mirrors the geographical footprint of cessation of visitation to aged care homes in the area south of the Brisbane River. Queensland Health is undertaking contract tracing for the individuals who have tested positive and the Archdiocese will continue to respond as new information as it becomes available.
Funerals that were pre-arranged to take place in these parishes during this period up until August 1 will proceed, with strict social distancing, hygiene and cleaning protocols in place.
The Archdiocesan Work Health and Safety Office will continue working with the Queensland Health Authorities to pursue the best course of action for public safety and will be in close contact with these parishes in case Queensland Health mandates further changes to services.
Update to the Industry Plan for All Parishes
Please note the following updates to the Industry Plan for Places of Worship which apply to all Archdiocesan parishes.
- If you are having pre-and post-service gatherings, people must be seated when eating or drinking refreshments.
- Indoor and outdoor worship-related events that are larger than 500 people must notify Public Health Units of the event a minimum of 10 days before the event via email at COVID-19.Industryplans@health.qld.gov.au
Free for Parishes: Touch-free Hand Sanitiser Units
A generous donor has offered to provide the Archdiocese with a few hundred automatic hand sanitiser dispenser units for parish use. Each unit is on a stand and comes with 5L of hand sanitiser. If your parish is interested, please contact the WHS Office by 7 August and let us know how many you would like (email@example.com).
Information for those parishes not listed above
For those parishes not included in the limited selection above that require temporary closures (i.e. all parishes except Woodridge, Kingston Marsden, Regent’s Park, Sunnybank, Acacia Ridge, Inala, Goodna, Springfield, Loganholme, Daisy Hill, Rochedale, Beenleigh, and Beaudesert) the Archdiocese continues to follow the Queensland Roadmap for Easing COVID-19 Restrictions, which allows for up to 100 people at Mass or private prayer from 3 July. The seating capacity will depend on the size of the church.
The following protocols remain in effect from 3 July 2020. They are subject to change with any ongoing amendments to Queensland Health guidelines.
- If you are ill, please stay at home. No visitors are to enter a church, parish building or Archdiocesan workplace if feeling sick
- We are required to record contact details of attendees at every gathering, including Mass and other liturgies, and to keep these details in a secure location for 56 days
- Social distancing is to be maintained, which includes occupancy limits of one person per 4 square metres indoors and people keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between each other
- Hand sanitizer or hand-washing facilities are made available in churches, parish offices and gathering spaces. Visitors and employees must sanitise their hands upon entry and exit.
- All Catholics remain dispensed from their Sunday obligation until further notice
- Masses will continue to be live-streamed from the Cathedral on Sundays and weekdays and may continue to be live-streamed from parishes. The livestream schedule for the Cathedral of St Stephen is available here.
- Communion is distributed by the presider alone, who should disinfect his hands before and after distributing
- In the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite, the Body of Christ should be administered only in the hand and the chalice should be received by the celebrant alone
- The Sign of Peace should be limited to saying “Peace be with you” with a nod or bow; no hand-shaking or hand-holding should occur during the Mass
- Hymn books should not be used
- Collection plates should not be passed from person to person
- Holy water fonts are to remain empty
- Each parish must adhere to the COVID-19 Safe Plan for Parish Communities.
- Churches may open for Mass and private prayer, for up to 100 people at a time, depending upon the size of the church.
- Weddings, Baptisms and Funerals may have up to 100 people in attendance depending upon the size of the Church. Regulations require that contact details of attendees are collected.
Sacrament of Reconciliation:
- The Sacrament of Reconciliation may be offered by appointment with the priest, or during specific hours as determined by each parish. Please check with your parish for details.
Sacramental and Pastoral Care:
- Communion to the Sick may be taken by priests and designated Extraordinary Ministers adhering to physical distancing requirements, hand hygiene etc.
- Visitation to hospitals may include parish volunteers, subject to hospital guidelines.
- Preparation and celebration of First Penance, Confirmation and First Communion may reconvene with up to 100 attendees at any gathering, depending upon the size of the church.
- Group activities such as prayer or play groups may recommence.
The Parish Office:
- All parish offices may operate as normal, with social distancing and hygiene measures in place.
- Meeting rooms are required to have occupancy levels posted.
- Priests should liaise with their Parish School Principal regarding classroom visitation.
- School Masses and liturgies must adhere to the above protocols.