Latest COVID-19 Guidelines, effective February 22, 2021
Holy Cross holds the health and safety of our parishioners, employees, volunteers, and all who gather for any activity sponsored by our parish as a top priority. Holy Cross follows Metropolis of Pittsburgh, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and CDC guidelines to ensure the safety of all those who participate in worship services and activities sponsored by parish organizations.
On November 27, 2020, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania issued an Order for Mitigation, Enforcement, and Immunity Protections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Section 11.A of the order specifically addresses exemptions for religious gatherings as follows:
- Churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and other places of congregate worship are specifically excluded from the limitations established in Section 9 of this Order during religious services. These institutions are strongly encouraged to enforce physical distancing and other mitigation measures at their gatherings.
- Conventions, retreats, and other gatherings that may be sponsored or held by these religious entities that are not the actual worship service are required to comply with this Order.
- Attendees at churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and other places of congregate worship are required to wear face coverings in compliance with the Secretary of Health’s Updated Order Requiring Universal Face Coverings, dated November 17, 2020, including any subsequent amendments.
Additional, temporary mitigation measures went into effect Saturday, December 12, and expired at 8 a.m. on January 4, 2021. With the expiration of these temporary measures, the commonwealth reverted to the order that was put into place on November 27th. Again, this order specifically excludes churches from limitations on gatherings during religious services.
Disclaimer: This policy is intended as guidance for the continued safe operations of services and activities at Holy Cross. Any information in this document is subject to change at the discretion of the Holy Cross Parish Council Executive Committee. Employees and parishioners will be advised of changes in a timely manner. This document only provides guidelines and operational policies; no contracts or agreements are created or implied by any language contained in this document.
Worship Services: All Liturgical, Sacramental, and Daily Office services will continue in accordance with Metropolis of Pittsburgh guidelines, and under the direction of the Holy Cross Proistamanos (head priest). Per Metropolis of Pittsburgh guidelines, parishioners should sign up in advance to attend weekly Liturgy via the Holy Cross website www.holycrosspgh.org
Church Organization Activities: As of 8am on January 4, 2021, all non-service, in-person activities are permitted. All organizations should meet and conduct activities following Commonwealth, County, and Metropolis health and safety guidelines.
Employee Travel: Per the Order of the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health for Mitigation Relating to Travel issued on November 20, 2020, any Holy Cross employee traveling into and returning to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from any other State or Commonwealth or an international location, must produce evidence of a negative SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19) test from a specimen collected within 72 hours prior to entering the Commonwealth, or quarantine for 14 days upon entering, unless they qualify for one of the exemptions specified in Section 4 of the order.
The Holy Cross Parish Council Executive Committee will determine, at its discretion, the location and frequency of testing required before any employee is allowed to return to participation in activities. Holy cross will pay for costs related to testing at the discretion of the Parish Council Executive Committee.
Those who are required to quarantine will not return to any building or activity until quarantine has ended and return-to-work procedures have been completed.
Daily Health Screening: Parishioners, volunteers, and all those who attend services or activities are asked to complete a daily health check before attending any function. If you are symptomatic, please stay home and contact your physician. We all play an important role in protecting the health and safety of our parish community.
Activity Waiver: Participants in all non-service church organization activities will be required to sign a COVID-19 waiver and release form prior to participation. Organization leaders will be provided with copies of the waiver or can find it here.
COVID-19 Reporting: Any employee, volunteer, or person who participates in an in-person gathering sponsored by Holy Cross is requested to notify the Holy Cross “Point of Contact” upon receiving a positive test result.
If a participant in a non-service church organization activity tests positive, the leader of the activity should communicate immediately with the Holy Cross Point of Contact. The Point of Contact is responsible for communicating with all other participants who may have come in contact with the person who tested positive.
Holy Cross Point of Contact: The Point of Contact for any COVID-19 related question, or to report a positive test result is:
Nicholas Chakos, Financial Secretary
Holy Cross Parish Council