Diocese of Fort Worth Implements Restrictions in Effort to Avoid Spread of Flu - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Diocese of Fort Worth Implements Restrictions in Effort to Avoid Spread of Flu

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Diocese of Fort Worth Working to Stop Spread of Flu

    It's not just schools and workplaces that are trying to keep the flu virus at bay. Houses of worship across DFW are applying some restrictions during services for the duration of the flu season. (Published Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018)

    It’s one of the worst flu seasons North Texas has seen in years.

    At least 36 people have died.

    Nationwide, the CDC says flu cases are widespread in every state except Hawaii and the District of Columbia.

    Left: Reported Flu Activity for the Week of Dec. 31, 2016 (Week 52); Right: Reported Flu Activity for the Week of Dec. 30, 2017 (Week 52)
    Data: CDC


    It’s not just schools and workplaces that are trying to keep the virus at bay.

    Houses of worship across DFW are applying some restrictions during services for the duration of the flu season.

    The Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth is implementing changes that have become a yearly tradition.

    “We remind the people we do this for your health,” said Monsignor Joseph Pemberton of Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Arlington.

    An announcement was made at the beginning of the 5 p.m. mass on Saturday.

    “Effective immediately and until further notice we are suspending the distribution of the Precious Blood and the Sign of Peace handshake,” a parishioner told the congregation.

    The faithful should be encouraged not to hold hands during the reciting of the Our Father, according to the diocese.

    Influenza Surveillance Report (Week Ending Jan. 27, 2018)
    Click on each state for more information.

    Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Nina Lin/NBC


    These temporary steps are being taken in an effort to try and avoid the spread of the flu virus.

    “I miss it because for me, the Sign of Peace is a reminder that we’re all really part of a bigger community and that we’re here to strengthen one another,” said Stephanie Smith. “But we can at least make eye contact and give a nice welcoming smile and remember we need to take that with us when we leave the building.”

    The Diocese of Dallas is offering the communion cup, however pastors are reminding those who are sick to refrain from drinking form it and from handshakes.

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