Churches changing procedures due to fears of coronavirus

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — As the coronavirus hits multiple states in the U.S., fear is growing in the stock market, schools, public events, and even churches.

Churches, in particular, do a lot of things that could spread a virus, like communion.

St. Columba explained what they’re doing to be safe, like cleaning water fonts.

“What we have done is, right now, is to remove all of that water,” Saint Columba Catholic Church’s pastor Patrick Gallagher said. “Cleanse the water fonts and leave them dry until further notice.”

The Catholic Church faces a bigger issue because they have mass every Sunday a long with communion.

A member can receive communion through bread or wine. The wine is usually shared from the same chalice, so the church has cut back on that. The bread is different, however.

“The other thing that we have done is when people receive the body of Christ under the form of bread,” Gallagher said. “The unleavened bread, that they will come and receive in their hand, rather than what some are used to receiving on their tongue.”

Another common thing the church does is offer a sign of peace before communion by shaking hands.

During this virus scare, however, this too has been adjusted.

“We have asked them not to shake hands, but to bow reverently and offer the sign of peace to your neighbor,” Gallagher said.

St. Columba in said they will keep these changes until they get an update from the CDC.

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