Statement regarding lifting of state COVID-19 restrictions

June 17, 2021

The Diocese of Rochester welcomes the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in New York State, a sign of continued progress to end the pandemic and an answer to our prayers. In light of the Governor’s action, the following guidelines have been issued to our parishes:

Masks will not be required at Mass for fully vaccinated people. However, the State has indicated that “unvaccinated individuals continue to be responsible for wearing masks, in accordance with federal CDC guidance.”

As a continued precaution until further notice: Holy Communion is to be distributed only under one form, namely the Sacred Host. The exchange of the sign of peace can be omitted or only encouraged without shaking or holding hands. Holy water fonts will remain empty. Baptisms continue to use only fresh water for each baptism and the fonts cleaned afterwards. Churches should be kept clean and continue to assure good ventilation by introducing fresh air, whenever possible.

Parishes should consider offering some “social distancing” seating for those who wish to continue this practice but the general population will not be required to social distance per the state’s recent announcement.

We continue to pray for all those who suffered illness and loss as a result of this tragic pandemic and for all those medical and emergency personnel and other essential workers who so selflessly served our community during this most challenging time.