We await a further direction or guidelines from the bishops following the further severe restrictions announced last evening by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, and Minister for Health, Simon Harris.
If guidelines are issued by the bishops’ conference we will of course publish them here.
Specifically people want to know how to handle the sensitive and delicate issue of funerals in this period of crisis. People are also wondering should church and parish buildings now be closed for the duration of this phase of the COVID-19 emergency.
Tim Hazelwood has already posted on this website their decision to close their church buildings in an effort to protect the vulernable people of their community.
A similar decision has been made in my own parish, especially in the light of new evidence ( *see below) of just how long this virus can remain on surfaces, The risk of passing on the infection and risking the health and life of people is too great.
“SARS-CoV-2 RNA was identified on a variety of surfaces in cabins of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infected passengers up to 17 days after cabins were vacated on the Diamond Princess but before disinfection procedures had been conducted (Takuya Yamagishi, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, personal communication, 2020). “