OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Even though religious services were exempt from the shelter-in-place order, the Diocese of Oakland has temporarily cancelled all daily masses as a precaution to prevent the ongoing spread of the coronavirus.
Across the Bay Area, religious leaders have been adapting their practices to both protect their members from contracting the coronavirus and also meeting their spiritual needs. Several Jewish synagogues in the Bay Area conducted services online last weekend.READ MORE: 1 Dead, 2 Injured in DUI-Suspected Crash in Oakland
In place of the masses at churches, officials will conduct online services.
Bishop Michael Barber was also in contact with parish priests on how they should handle the celebration of sacraments, including baptisms, weddings and funerals.
Officials said churches will remain open to provide a place of prayer and solace for people. But proper hygiene and social distancing will continue to be emphasized.READ MORE: Newsom Receives COVID Vaccine Booster At Oakland Event Promoting State's Vaccination Push
All other events at parishes and schools have been postponed, rescheduled or cancelled until further notice.
Official said all chancery employees were to remain at home during this period and will be compensated as normal. Those who can work remotely are required to do so.
“Those whose job responsibilities do not allow them to work remotely are required to stay in communication with their team or supervisor,” the Diocese statement said. “Parishes are encouraged to follow a similar approach with their employees.”MORE NEWS: UPDATE: Pleasant Hill In-And-Out Reopens for Drive-Thru, Carryout After Health Department Shutdown
“Our Lady, Health of the Sick, has always come to the aid of the Church in times of plague, pestilence and danger,” Bishop Barber said. “Let us pray to her to intercede for us with her Son.”