Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Health Updates
In response to concerns expressed by the faithful regarding the potential spread of the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) into our communities, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston continues to monitor the health situation in the 10 counties within the Archdiocese.
Updated April 29, 2020
With increased vigilance against the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), The Archdiocese continues to monitor developments and will communicate any new recommendations or updates as soon as possible about this dynamic and evolving situation.
April 29 - Phased Reopening
On April 29, following Governor Abbott's recent announcement concerning a phased reopening of the State of Texas, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has notified its parishes that they are permitted to begin "Phased Reopening" this weekend, May 2-3, with an emphasis on social distancing, masks, and sanitation. Each parish is empowered to choose if they wish to celebrate Mass, and how to comply with state guidelines. Elderly and vulnerable parishioners are encouraged to continue to livestream Mass for now. - Read the full announcement here.
In a letter to the faithful of the Archdiocese, Cardinal DiNardo wrote:
"On one hand, this closure of churches to the public has been necessary for the safeguarding of public health, and we must continue to be mindful of the advice of governmental authorities. At the same time, I have heard the continued pleas of so many of the faithful and priests for access to the spiritual strength and nourishment of the sacraments after enduring so many weeks of stay-at-home orders. Therefore, I believe the time has arrived to look forward to how this local church can cautiously resume some of its essential activities." - Read Cardinal DiNardo's Letter to the Faithful here.
During this time of reopening, all people coming to churches, including clergy and staff, should wear masks to cover their nose and mouths.
The obligation to attend Mass is dispensed until further notice. Those who may be ill; suffer from chronic health conditions; have a compromised immune system; are over the age of 60; or are uncomfortable attending Sunday Mass due to concerns due to COVID-19 are encouraged to remain at home and not attend Mass. Read the full message here.
Cardinal DiNardo continues to encourage unity in prayer for the faithful of the Archdiocese with a new Prayer in the Time of the Coronavirus.
Online Masses and Liturgies
Though parishes in the Archdiocese are continuing regular Mass schedules, a number of Catholic churches will be streaming weekend Masses. To view Mass times and streaming websites, visit this dedicated webpage.
Influenza & Coronavirus information links
Outbreaks of novel virus infections among people are always of public health concern, according to the CDC. The faithful can help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses with these simple actions.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Why? Read the science behind the recommendations.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Are you at higher risk for infection?
Source: Centers for Disease Control (cdc.gov)
- Center for Disease Control - Español
- CDC Resources for Community- and Faith-Based Leaders
- CDC - Fact sheets, handouts and posters - Español
- What to do if you are sick - Español
- Frequently Asked Questions (CDC) - Español