COVID-19 Exposures in parishes, schools and entities of the Archdiocese of Miami
Dear Pastors, Principals and Administrators:
Thank you to those who have contacted the Pastoral Center regarding any COVID-19 exposures at the parishes and schools. Please, may I ask you to continue to contact me when possible exposures of priests, religious or lay, employees, volunteers, visitors or anyone are reported. Please encourage all employees to let you know when they or a member of their family/household are sick with COVID-like symptoms and/or are tested for the virus.
Please note that this protocol is applicable to all entities of the Archdiocese:
Encourage employees to remain at home if sick and to immediately contact their supervisor so that the supervisor can act, if needed, regarding the health and safety of all employees.
Require social distancing in all areas of parish campus, offices, meeting areas, church, sacristy, lunch rooms, school offices, maintenance shops or wherever.
REQUIRE masks to be used by all, with only two exceptions:
· When alone in an office (that is, an enclosed office) (please note, when someone comes into your office, you must put on your mask and they must wear a mask and both should remain socially distant at or more than 6’)
· Outside and alone
Establish procedures in reception area or other gathering places so persons do not gather (wait outside, make appointments or other procedures to reduce the occasion to gather)
Establish procedures in parish or school open office space such as marking off a buffer zone, so that staff and anyone coming in for assistance remain socially distant (more than 6’ distance); all must be wearing masks
Conduct meetings via ZOOM or other video conferencing equivalent to minimize inviting visitors/vendors or other outsiders into parish office
Ministry activity should be conducted by video conference; ministries are still not approved to begin meeting in person
In the event of an exposure from someone diagnosed as positive within the parish or school, to follow CDC guidelines on closing off and sanitizing the area(s) involved. Reporting the exposure to Sr Elizabeth will also allow guidance to be given.
Please advise your staff of the necessity to inform you if they are sick and/or feel they have been exposed to someone who may be sick or may be asymptomatic but had a positive test results.
For clarification, it is the policy of the ADOM that all persons wear masks when with anyone – even if at a distance in excess of 6’.
It is the policy of the ADOM:
that anyone with a credible exposure to someone who has already tested positive needs to quarantine until they received negative test results or 14 days from exposure has passed and the individual remained asymptomatic throughout the period (CDC guidelines).
According to the CDC, a credible exposure/close contact may have occurred if ….
· You were within 6 feet of someone who has (diagnosed + or symptomatic with) COVID-19, for at least 15 minutes
· You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
· You had direct physical contact with the person (touched, hugged, or kissed them)
· You shared eating or drinking utensils
· They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you
that anyone who tested positive and has remained asymptomatic must isolate for a minimum of 10 days from testing date before returning to work and is required to get medical clearance (2 negative tests, administered at least 24 hours apart) to return to work;
that anyone who had symptoms of the disease, that once the symptoms resolved AND a minimum of 10 days had passed from the onset of symptoms AND at least 3 days had passed without fever, is required to get medical clearance (2 negative tests, administered at least 24 hours apart) to return to work;
for employees out because of a COVID related exposure or employees who are sick, the usual process toward implementing FMLA is uses; bookkeepers should contact ADOM HR with questions
A helpful guide to make decisions about exposure/close contact to someone with COVID-19 and whether or not testing is advised can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
Please contact me any day, any time, with respect to possible exposures experienced by anyone in parishes, schools or other entities of the ADOM. 305.450.6420 or email@example.com.
Sister Elizabeth Worley, SSJ