Friends, effective February 16, 2022, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties will align with California Department of Public Health and lift the mask mandate in indoor settings for vaccinated individuals. This mandate does not apply to schools.
The Diocese of Oakland will continue to follow the directives of both, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, and the new mask mandate will be implemented effective February 16th.
The following applies to all who worship, work, volunteer or attend parish/school sponsored events in the Diocese of Oakland:
Social distancing and face masks are no longer required, but they are encouraged. See the March 10, 2022 policy below for additional details.
Sign of Peace
The Sign of Peace should still be exchanged without physical contact, except for family members.
It is strongly encouraged that the faithful receive Communion in the hand, however provision should be made so that anyone who wishes to receive on the tongue may do so, from a priest. If the priest does not feel comfortable with this, he may delegate to another, trained minister.
We will not distribute the Precious Blood for the time being.
Vaccinated employees and volunteers will not be required to wear a mask indoors. Proof of vaccination will be on file for employees and volunteers at each site.
Unvaccinated employees and volunteers who do not provide proof of vaccination, will be required to always wear a mask while indoors.
Visitors may remove their mask indoors if they show proof of vaccination.
Employees and volunteers may choose to continue wearing a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status. It will not be assumed a person is unvaccinated if they choose to wear a mask.
Please continue to exercise caution when meeting in-person. Follow masking recommendations stated in the March 10, 2022 policy below and meet in rooms which provide adequate spacing and ventilation from windows and doors, when practical.
Disposable masks will be provided, as needed, as well as cleaning and sanitizing products, promotes a safer environment for employees, volunteers, and visitors.
PARISH/SCHOOL FESTIVALS AND EVENTS POLICY (Issued March 10, 2022)
The policy for Parish/School Festivals and Events and gatherings which was previously provided has been revised to reflect the new mask mandate.
California’s shift on March 1st to no longer requiring proof of vaccination or wearing a mask indoors except in certain public places (i.e., hospitals, public transportation etc.) regardless of vaccination status, requires a change to this Diocesan policy. This transitional policy, implemented during the re-opening of churches and schools and applicable to parish and school festivals, fundraising events, and other social events, is modified effective March 1, 2022.
The need for this policy will be reviewed and revised as necessary. Parishes and schools will receive notice of such changes in writing. The revised transitional policy is summarized here as follows:
1. Regardless of vaccination status, masking indoors continues to be strongly recommended by the California Department of Public Health. No proof of vaccination or negative COVID test results are required. Social distancing and face masks are no longer required, but they are encouraged. You may consider having a supply of face masks at your event in case attendees desire one.
2. If choosing to contract food trucks or other food services vehicles, only properly licensed vendors are allowed and they must provide the parish or school with evidence of liability insurance meeting the Diocesan insurance requirements. https://www.oakdiocese.org/documents/2019/10/Certificate_of_Insurance_Required_Verbiage_and_Samples-REV22Oct2018-1.pdf
3. Evidence of the vendor’s liability insurance must be provided by the parish or school to the Diocesan Director of Insurance and Benefits at least five (5) calendar days before the scheduled event.
4. Potlucks and home prepared food for events are allowed, but we recommend those individuals preparing food at home to serve or sell at a parish or school event wear a face covering while preparing food.
5. We recommend all persons preparing or serving food on parish or school property wear face coverings (covering both mouth and nose) and sanitary gloves (vinyl or nitrile gloves) while preparing or serving food.
6. We recommend all persons preparing or serving food at parish or school festivals or events self-attest they have no COVID-19 symptoms including fever, cough, or any other flu or cold-like symptoms.
7. We recommend providing sanitizing stations at entry points and throughout the premises and refill as necessary.
Any questions or clarifications should be directed to the parish office.