Effective immediately (Jan. 22, 2010), Bishop Edward U. Kmiec is allowing pastors to decide if they would like to resume the distribution of precious blood because of widespread reports of H1N1 and other influenza-like illnesses in Western New York.through the cup. In late October, the bishop issued a directive suspending the distribution of the
While the number of cases of flu has fallen significantly in recent weeks, Catholic Health officials say there could be another wave of H1N1, and the seasonal flu has yet to heavily impact the region.
The bishop said that Mass attendees are also welcome to resume shaking hands at the Sign of Peace.
“If people are uncomfortable taking the cup or shaking hands at Mass during the flu season, they certainly can refrain from doing so,” Bishop Kmiec said.
Bishop Kmiec also reminded Catholics that if they are sick, they are excused from their Sunday Mass obligation.
Priests, deacons and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are also reminded to wash or sanitize their hands prior to the distribution of Holy Communion.