VIGAN CITY — Now that mass gatherings for religious services are permitted up to 50 percent seating capacity in areas under the modified general community quarantine, the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia gives reminders for churchgoers to ensure their safety and well-being amid the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Archbishop Marlo Peralta disseminated the reminders through a post on the Facebook page of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia last Wednesday for the public to observe the safe distancing rule to prevent the spread of the virus.
“We can now resume our regular weekdays and Sunday masses at 50 percent capacity of our churches. But as always, with physical distancing, the wearing of masks and hand sanitation,” said in the post.
Barangay masses are to be held not in barangay chapels but preferably inside covered courts where there is enough space for distancing.
Baptisms and marriages can now also resume.
For baptism, only the parents and a maximum of 10 combined godparents will be allowed per child.
Only simple weddings will also be allowed, with only the bride and the groom, 10 witnesses maximum and the parents present. There should be no wedding entourage.
In Vigan City, the Saint Paul Metropolitan Cathedral marked the entrance and exits so that people coming in would not meet those who are leaving.
Foot baths are also set up in the entrance of the church in compliance with the requirement of the Department of Health (DOH).
There are markers on pews inside the church to indicate where the faithful could go and sit while they are inside.
These markers will help the strict observance of social distancing.
To date, the province of Ilocos Sur has zero confirmed COVID-19 case after the DOH in the Ilocos reported on Sunday the recovery of the patient from the municipality of Sta. Cruz.
The patient is a 33-year-old female who was confirmed positive on May 29, 2020.
She was admitted at the Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center in San Fernando City, La Union on May 1.
Her first and second negative confirmatory results were released on June 3 and June 7, respectively.
She is expected to be discharged from the hospital within the week.