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To: Pastors, deacons, parish communicators, men and women religious, chancery staff, school presidents and principals
From: The Most Reverend Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., Archbishop of Atlanta
We have slightly revised one part of the guidelines for delivering Holy Communion. This is the only update for this week.
Delivering Holy Communion to the Homebound
Governor Kemp has released guidelines on easing visitation restrictions on nursing and assisted living facilities. The restrictions are based on community spread as well as local protocols. If visits are possible, clergy and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (both referred hereafter as “Eucharistic ministers”) must follow protocols particular to the communities they are visiting and should schedule the visits with the facility in advance. With regard to facilities that include independent living communities, which are not explicitly mentioned in the governor’s guidelines, Eucharistic ministers need to follow the facility’s existing protocol for visits which should be verified prior to visiting.
For all visits, including those to personal/private residences and homes, the following considerations apply:
- Eucharistic ministers must do an adequate health self-screening according to CDC guidelines immediately before arrival and be free of a fever and any other COVID-related symptoms.
- Visits should be kept to a minimum amount of time in a well-ventilated area to lower transmission risk.
- Eucharistic ministers and person(s) being visited (unless health requirements dictate otherwise for the latter) must wear a mask at all times during visit.
- Eucharistic ministers should avoid personal and surface contact where reasonable and should use hand sanitizer before and after giving Holy Communion to each recipient.
Each parish should keep appropriate records for contact tracing purposes with a reporting and notification mechanism also in place. These guidelines also apply for the Anointing of the Sick during visits (see additional guidelines below).
You can review the full set of guidelines here: