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 Update

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 noted:

"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.

April 1 Update

On April 1, the Catholic Schools Office released an update that extends the closure of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese to May 4.

March 17 Update

On March 17, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo officially suspended Mass. In a letter to the faithful, Cardinal DiNardo said: "The public celebration of all weekday and Sunday Masses will be suspended in the Archdiocese," starting Wednesday, March 18. Churches are to remain open for individual and private prayer, observing normal hours, he said. Read the full message here.  

March 16 Update

Late March 16, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Catholic Schools Office announced that they are extending the closure of all Catholic schools, as well as the cancelation of all extra-curricular activities through April 10, 2020.  Read the announcement on FacebookRead the full message on the Catholic Schools website.

March 13 Update

On March 13, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo issued a message to the faithful and clergy that, while the Archdiocese recommends that parishes maintain regular Mass schedules for all those who wish to participate, 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 over the Coronavirus (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.

The Mamie George Community Center in Richmond will close temporarily beginning Tuesday, March 17. Current plans are to re-open on April 1.  The center functions as the hub for Catholic Charities services in Fort Bend Co., including programming for seniors, families and individuals of all ages. For more, click here.

March 12 Update

On March 12, due to recent developments, the Archdiocese is implementing a set of measures about liturgical celebrations, other planned gatherings and events, religious education and sacramental preparation, Catholic schools and Texas Medical Center hospital visits. Read these updates here. 

The Catholic Schools Office of the Archdiocese also shared a March 12 update about school closing through March 20.

St. Dominic Village near the Texas Medical Center also remains closed to any visitors until further notice.

February 29 Update

On Feb. 29, the Archdiocese recommended common sense steps and precautions in regards to celebration of the Liturgy. Read these updates here.


Stay Healthy

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) 

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (abbreviated to COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan, China. COVID-19 has now spread to a number of countries including the United States, where several states have reported cases. The list of these confirmed cases can be found here.

While most people are at low risk of contracting the virus, it can spread through close contact with someone who is already infected. Learn more about how coronavirus is spread on the CDC website.

Is there Mass?

No, the public celebration of all weekday and Sunday Masses will be suspended in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Churches are to remain open for individual and private prayer observing their normal hours, as discerned by the Pastors. Read the full message here.

Is X, Y or Z event still happening at my parish or school?

Many parish events have been canceled or postponed. Please contact your parish for details. For parish contact information, including websites and phone numbers, use the Parish Locator.

Please read Cardinal DiNardo's March 17th announcement for information and instruction regarding Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Baptism of Infants, Weddings and Funerals during this time. 

At schools, classes and all extracurricular activities have been canceled through April 10. Information about events and classes after April 10 will be released by the Catholic Schools Office.

I'm feeling nervous about all of this, what can I do?

The outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. 

The Archdiocese stands in solidarity with those who are experiencing the consequences of COVID-19. The prayers and celebrations of Holy Mass are with the Universal Church. This time may be stressful for people. The Archdiocese recommends visiting the CDC for information on mental health and managing anxiety and stress.

Additionally, Studies have shown prayer and religious beliefs complement health and wellness. To this end, the Archdiocese continually offers Spiritual Resources and Prayers during this time. A document on the site, A Faith Response to the Coronavirus, includes several tools to handle our reactions and how we feel during this time.

"Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7

All of the parishes in the Archdiocese gladly accept prayer requests. Many chapels and prayer spaces offer a place to submit prayer intentions, and a growing number of parishes accept prayer requests online, such as Prince of Peace, Mary Queen, Christ Our Light, St. Ambrose and St. Albert of Trapani, among many, many more. Contact your parish to learn how to share your prayer request. For parish contact information, including websites and phone numbers, use the Parish Locator.

Questions?

Not feeling well? Call your healthcare provider immediately. If you're unsure, call the Memorial Hermann Nurse Health Line at 713-338-7979 (or toll-free 855-577-7979) and they'll help you decide. Registered nurses are available 24/7.  This free Health line is open to anyone living in Houston or surrounding counties, with or without insurance. 

The Houston Health Department has a dedicated call center at 832-393-4220 to answer COVID-19 related questions or concerns, available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Preguntas?

¿No te sientes bien? Consulte a su médico inmediatamente. Si no está seguro, llame a la Línea de Salud de Enfermeras Memorial Hermann al 713-338-7979 (o al teléfono gratuito 855-577-7979) y ellos le ayudarán a decidir. Las enfermeras registradas están disponibles las 24 horas del día, 7 días de la semana. Esta línea gratuita y bilingue está abierta a cualquier persona que viva en Texas con o sin seguro médico.

El Departamento de Servicios de Salud del Estado de Texas tiene un centro de llamadas al 1-877-570-9779 dedicado a responder a preguntas o inquietudes relacionadas con COVID-19, disponible de lunes a viernes de 7 a.m. a 6 p.m.

Need assistance?

211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE
The 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE is a 24/7 multilingual helpline that 
provides information about community resources and connects people to basic needs assistance and other social services. You can also search the 211 database online at http://referral.unitedwayhouston.org/. 211 is not the number to call for emergencies or questions about COVID-19.

 

Influenza & Coronavirus information links

COVID-19 Archived Updates

Mar 8 - St. Cecilia Church Update and Information

Harris County Public Health (HCPH) epidemiologists have notified St. Cecilia Catholic Church in West Houston that an  individual who tested positive for COVID-19 attended mass at the church at 5:30pm Wednesday, Feb. 26th. Persons who sat approximately within 6 feet of the individual could have potentially been exposed to COVID-19. The individual sat in the very last row on the left side of the church as you face the altar.

As part of the investigation, HCPH recommends that those who sat in the last three rows on the left side (as you face the altar) at the 5:30 p.m. Mass on Wednesday, Feb. 26, contact Harris County Public Health at 713-439-6000 and contact their healthcare provider immediately (call before going) if they experience any symptoms. Also, any parishioners or church attendees experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 are not obligated to attend Mass in person and are encourage to stay home and contact their healthcare provider for additional guidance. As a reminder, the symptoms include: fever, cough and/or shortness of breath.

Since being notified, and with the support of Harris County Public Health, St. Cecilia has taken safety measures to clean and sanitize the area, including sanitizing pews and touchpoints throughout the church, draining and sanitizing baptismal fonts, and providing hand sanitizers at all entry points. 

Mar 8 - Santa Cecilia Iglesia de actualización e Información

Harris County Public Health (HPNC) epidemiólogos han estado en contacto con la iglesia católica St. Cecilia, en el oeste de Houston como parte de su investigación de contactos. Un individuo que dio positivo por COVID 19-masa asistido en la iglesia a las 5:30 de la tarde del miércoles, 26 de febrero Personas que se sentaba aproximadamente a 6 pies del individuo potencialmente podría haber estado expuesto a-19 COVID. El individuo se sentó en la última fila en el lado izquierdo de la iglesia, según se mira el altar. (Esto no es un nuevo caso de COVID-19, pero esta investigación es parte de diagnóstico existentes COVID-19 casos positivos de HPNC relacionados con el grupo de viaje en Egipto).

Como parte de la investigación, HPNC está recomendando que los miembros del público que se sentaba en los últimos tres filas en el lado izquierdo (según se mira el altar) en la masa 17:30 el miércoles de febrero 26 de contacto del Condado de Harris Pública salud en el 713-439-6000 y en contacto con su proveedor de atención médica de inmediato (llamada antes de ir) si notan algún síntoma. Además, cualquier asistente feligrés de la iglesia o que experimentan síntomas asociados con COVID-19 deben quedarse en casa, lejos de otras personas, y contactar con su proveedor de salud para obtener orientación adicional. A modo de recordatorio, los síntomas incluyen fiebre, tos y/o dificultad para respirar.

Desde que fue notificado, y con el apoyo del condado de Harris Salud Pública, Santa Cecilia ha tomado medidas de seguridad para limpiar y desinfectar la zona, incluyendo la desinfección de los bancos y de los puntos de contacto en toda la iglesia, drenaje y saneamiento de las pilas bautismales, y proporcionando los desinfectantes de manos en todas las entradas puntos. 

 

CDC Resources