With the recent sharp decline in the number of Omicron variant COVID-19 cases in Illinois, parishioners have been inquiring about whether our parish will be lifting or revising our mask policy for Divine Liturgy, Sacraments, and other activities.
Throughout this two-year pandemic, our parish council, staff, and volunteer leaders have remained diligent to ensure that all persons, especially those who are most vulnerable to the virus, are kept safe by following protocols of social distancing and mask-wearing.
After reviewing all relevant data, the safety committee recommended, and the parish council approved, a modification to our in-church protocol as follows:
“Mask-Optional”, “Open-Seating” Area (BLUE):
All Pews except the baptismal font area are now designated as “Mask-Optional”, “Open-Seating” zones. Parishioners are free to sit in any row in this designated area, with or without a mask.
“Mask-Mandated”, “Socially-Distanced” Area (TAN):
Pews in the Baptismal Font Area (Northeast): are designated as “Mask-On”, “Socially-Distanced” zones. Parishioners in this area are required to wear masks and only sit in rows designated with the green sticker, to allow for social distancing.
We believe that this modified seating will allow for a more normalized experience for parishioners attending worship services, while still providing those in the more vulnerable groups an area where they can worship in a comfortable and safe manner.
We appreciate the patience and understanding of all our parishioners. We remained steadfast through these difficult months, balancing a desire to worship as a community with the need to keep safe those most vulnerable to the coronavirus.
It has been a trying time and your diligence and support is greatly appreciated.
Saint Peter and Paul’s Safety Committee will continue to monitor the key risk metrics: new COVID cases per day, COVID test positivity rates, as well as guidance from the CDC, the State of Illinois, and our Chicago Metropolis.
+Rev. Dr. Fr. Richard Demetrius Andrews, Protopresbyter
Steve J. Koulogeorge, Parish Council President
Alex Michalakos, Parish Safety Team Chair