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Appleton, WI

Mar. 15: COVID-19 Update

March 15, 2020

Dear Good People of God of Saint Mary Parish,

In light of the concern of us all in regard to the spread of the coronavirus, the City of Appleton Health Department has asked us to educate our parishioners.  This document includes information provided by them and steps St. Mary Parish is taking to protect our parishioners.  We will provide updates in the coming weeks through email, postal mail, website and the bulletin.

If you are sick with flu-like symptoms, please stay home and take care of yourself.  Do not come to Mass. Get better soon.

If you are in a high risk category, including those with heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, compromised immune systems, pregnant women and adults age 60 and above, should avoid crowds and enclosed spaces.  This includes attending Mass.

For those who are attending Mass, please use the hand sanitizer when you enter the Church or the parish center.  It is available at all entrances and throughout the building.  Avoid touching your face.  Sneeze or cough into the inside of your sleeve, or into a tissue.   Sanitize your hands after sneezing or blowing your nose, and dispose of tissue immediately.  Tissues and wastebaskets are available at every entrance.

At the Sign of Peace, a simple gesture such as a head nod, or bow, or simply the words, “Peace be with you” is suggested.  Avoid handshakes, embraces and other physical contact.

Out of great love for our sisters and brothers, we will only be distributing Holy Communion in the hand.

The distribution of the Precious Blood of Christ from the chalice will be discontinued for the time being.

Common holy water fonts have been emptied.  There are individual bottles of holy water that may be taken for home use.

Steps St. Mary Parish is taking to minister to those in the high-risk category

We will record the Saturday 4:30 pm Mass and upload it to the website by Sunday morning.

The Wednesday 12:05 pm Mass will be recorded and upload it to the website by Thursday morning.

The following TV and radio stations offer broadcasts of MassRelevant Radio, Mon through Fri 7:30 pm and Sunday 9:00 am
WBAY TV2, Sunday 5:30 am
EWTN: Daily at 7:00 am and 11:00 am, Mon through Sat at 6:00 pm and Pope Francis’ Private Mass Tues through Sat at 3:30 pm

If you are in the high risk category, and not attending Mass, you can sign up or call the parish office to have communion brought to you.

Those not in the high risk category who are willing to bring communion to a family member or a person in your neighborhood, you can sign up to help.

We are starting a phone call ministry of support for our homebound.  All who are interested in making phone calls or receiving phone calls can sign up.

Let us keep in prayer all those who are sick and all those who are charged with curtailing the spread of the corona virus worldwide and that those working to develop a vaccine will be successful.

Thanks for your understanding.

Father Bill +

WHO IS AT HIGHER RISK FOR CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?

Older adults – those 60 and above

People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
Heart disease,          Diabetes,       Lung Disease
Compromised Immune Systems,  Pregnant Women

If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.

Those who fall in this category are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness.

GET READY NOW

Have supplies on hand in case you need to stay home for an extended period of time.

  • Medications: Ask your healthcare provider about obtaining extra necessary medications and supplies, use mail order or home delivery services.
  • Have enough groceries and household items on hand, use mail order or home delivery services if available.
  • Take everyday precautions, keeping space between yourself and others and avoid those who are sick. Stay home as much as possible.
  • Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.  Stay away from crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces.
  • Clean and sanitize as much as possible.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing or having been in a public place.
  • If soap and water is not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.  Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect your home or workplace to remove germs: practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example, tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks & cell phones).
  • Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand to avoid direct contact with high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, etc.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET SICK

Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including fever, cough and shortness of breath.  Watch for these emergency warning signs, and seek medical attention immediately:
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
New confusion or inability to arouse
Bluish lips or face
Please stay home and call your doctor or healthcare provider and let them know about your symptoms.  This will help them take care of you and keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
If you are not sick enough to be hospitalized, you can recover at home.  Stay in touch with others by phone or email.

FAMILY, CAREGIVER & COMMUNITY SUPPORT

Monitor food, medication and household items and create a plan to ensure adequate supplies are on hand.
Check in on those who are at risk to help with obtaining medical help a getting supplies.

REPUTABLE RESOURCES OF UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION

World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/
Wisconsin Department of Health Services: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/
Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/

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