SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) Nationally some churches are changing the way they conduct their services to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19.
“We are not doing anything differently yet,” said Pastor John Finnell at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in South Charleston. For the most part, it is business as usual at the church. With current concern over containing the spread of COVID-19, there is growing concern about limiting public gathering. So far Finnell said his church has not received a directive from the Bishop to modify the way they typically do things.
“I think we leave it up to individuals to know when they should kind of back away or not come to church or if they do to be a little more careful about their contact,” Finnell said. They always have staples such as cough drops, hand sanitizer and tissues available. They encourage people to use their best judgment about whether or not to attend services. Finnell said in bigger cities or areas where the risk is higher they are taking more precautions.
He said the practice of sharing from the common cup already includes protocol to protect people.
At Saint George Orthodox Cathedral in Charleston, they do not plan to change anything because of COVID-19.
“In 2000 years of the church’s history no one has ever been reported to get sick off of communion,” said Fr. Joseph Hazar. Instead, he said they are encouraging people to wash their hands and stay home if they are sick.
“Of course all of our bathrooms are always stocked with soap so people can wash their hands and should as often as they’d like to,” Hazar said.