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Bishop of the Diocese of Baton Rouge calls for recommitment to COVID-19 safety protocols in churches and in parish offices throughout the Diocese.

Bishop Michael Duca
Bishop Michael Duca
Published: Jan. 16, 2021 at 4:15 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Bishop Michael G. Duca of Baton Rouge today called for a recommitment to COVID-19 safety protocols practiced in churches and in parish offices throughout the diocese.

The bishop’s letter was issued shortly after Gov. Edwards asked the private sector and communities of faith to help minimize the spread of the coronavirus in Louisiana. The virus has infected over 320,000 people in the state and more than 7600 have died from it.

“As Bishop of Baton Rouge,” the letter says, “I believe that our Catholic family needs to continue to do our part in this effort to minimize the spread of this dangerous disease for the common good.”

The bishop commended pastors and parishioners for following the Diocesan Pandemic Guidelines by masking and social distancing and said to his knowledge there have been no super-spreader events caused by liturgical celebrations.

“I am proud of how we have worked to protect one another, especially the most vulnerable members of our parishes,” he said. “Yet,” he added, “despite these efforts the virus is surging. I believe that the present surge of the virus demands that now, more than ever, we need to follow all the recommended practices in order to diminish not only the spread but, more importantly, to lower the number of deaths that have resulted from COVID-19.”

The bishop also said, “I am keenly aware of the considerable physical, emotional and financial toll the virus is taking on us all and that we are tired of the restrictions required for reducing the spread of the virus. So many of us looked to the New Year with expectations that there would be less contagion and fewer deaths. But such has not been the case, and in truth, instead of relaxing our guard we must re-enforce it, and we must continue to practice those things that minimize exposure and spread.”

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