ST. LOUIS – Following (announcements May 14) from St. Louis City and St. Louis County officials, and (the May 13) announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Archdiocese of St. Louis is announcing the following changes to the mandates and guidelines in place to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus:
Archdiocesan Parishes: The mask mandate now only applies to all parish faithful who have not received a vaccination against the COVID-19 virus. Following the CDC guidance issued (May 13), capacity restrictions and social-distancing measures at archdiocesan parishes will be determined by the parish pastor based on the size and construct of the parish, and what he deems is needed to provide for the safest possible environment. These changes in guidance are effective immediately; however, the timeline for implementation in each parish will be determined by the pastor based on specific needs to make a safe and appropriate transition. Changes should be implemented at all parishes no later than Sunday, May 23.
Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski leaves in place the dispensation for Sunday Mass at this time, but will be re-evaluating the need for the dispensation in the coming weeks.
Archdiocesan Schools: Archdiocesan schools will continue the mitigation strategies they have had in place that have led to a successful full year of in-person learning. These guidelines, created in cooperation with local health departments, remain in place for the last two weeks of school. This includes all end-of-year activities.
Maintaining the schools’ current mask measures is being encouraged by local health officials supporting our school nurses, who say that masks greatly reduce the impact of quarantine requirements when there is a close contact of a COVID-19 positive case in the school setting. The archdiocesan Office of Catholic Education and Formation will review this new guidance as they plan for summer school. We will communicate any changes to staff, students and families as soon as possible. In addition, new guidance will be shared over the summer regarding the opening of the 2021-2022 school year.
The Office of Catholic Education and Formation is grateful to school administrations, staffs, students and families for their continued support in navigating the pandemic while maintaining our schools’ mission of academic excellence and faith formation in the safest possible environment.
Archdiocesan Sports: The archdiocesan CYC Office will review this new guidance as they plan for summer sports activities. We will communicate any changes to staff, athletes and families as soon as possible. The archdiocesan CYC Office is grateful to parish and school communities for their continued support in navigating the pandemic while providing an atmosphere of good sportsmanship rooted in the Catholic faith.
Archdiocesan Ministries/Agencies: All archdiocesan agencies and ministries will continue with their mitigation policies for COVID-19 while their respective leadership teams review the latest announcement and consult with the Office of the Archbishop on next steps. Changes will be announced as soon as possible by those leadership teams.