Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Last Thursday (13th August) we were alerted to the fact that one of our parishioners had tested positive for COVID-19. This same parishioner had attended mass here at 9.00am on Saturday, 8th August.
After investigations, NSW Health determined that only those who attended that mass were casual contacts. This means they were considered to be at low risk of infection. They were not required to self-isolate or get a test unless they developed symptoms of COVID-19. The time period they would have developed symptoms was 14 days after the Mass, that is the 22 August.
As of today, no subsequent cases have been advised to us.
Our Parish has been commended by NSW Health for being registered as a COVID Safe Business and having a very tight COVID-19 Safety Plan. All precautions were, and are still underway, including social distancing, sanitising, no congregational singing, and the wearing of masks. Our Parish also was, and still is attended to the cleaning of all pews after each mass.
The parish voluntarily arranged for the church to undergo deep cleaning, which took place on Friday, 14th August. This was because we felt we wanted to do everything we could to ensure our Church was safe. This was over and above the NSW Health recommendations for our particular case.
Moving forward we will do everything we can to ensure that our Church remains safe for all.
The Parish will continue to follow our COVID-19 Safety Plan which now also includes the checking of temperatures of all those attending. Please continue to be mindful of symptoms of COVID-19. If you develop symptoms, please see a doctor and refrain from attending mass.
In a letter addressed to the Diocese of Parramatta on 19 March 2020, Bishop Vincent stated:
“Catholics from the Diocese of Parramatta are from 20 March 2020 dispensed from their Sunday Mass obligation until further notice (Canon 1248 §2 and Catechism 2181.)”
We ask that you remember this Dispensation if you are unwell.
I thank you for your understanding, support and co-operation in response to COVID-19, and I know you will join me in our shared commitment to keeping ourselves and each other safe.
Sincerely yours in Christ,