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More than two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Diocese has announced that parishes may return fully to pre-COVID operations. The only exception is that Holy Communion will still not be offered from the cup. Sanitizing and three-foot social distancing continues to be recommended (not required) until March 2023.

“We offer thanks to Our Lord for the marked improvement in the situation of the COVID virus in our State and Counties,” said Monsignor Gerard Lopez, Diocesan Vicar General, in a Sept. 7 memo to priests and parish staff.

“On behalf of Bishop Rojas, thank you for your generous and faithful service to your communities and families during the COVID pandemic. Our prayers are for continued healing for the sick and for continued cooperation with our local health agencies in strengthening the overall health of our communities through health education, vaccination and wellness promotion,” he added.

Similarly, the Diocesan Pastoral Center (DPC) made a final revision to its COVID protocols, lifting most of the previous restrictions such as wearing a mask and prohibition of large group meetings. Employees contracting COVID must continue to notify their supervisor and not return to work until they test negiative or are cleared to return by their doctor.

The updated policy will be in effect until March 30, 2023, which is the anticipated official date designated as the end of the pandemic/endemic.