Guidelines for Visiting St. Agnes Parish during COVID-19



St. Agnes Parish Guidelines comply with legislation and regulations provided by:

➤  The Province of Ontario

➤  The Thunder Bay District Health Unit Medical Officer of Health

➤  The City of Thunder Bay

➤  The Diocese of Thunder Bay


Category: Entering and Exiting

➤  The centre door of the church is cordoned off so that just the two side doors are available
for entry and exiting

➤  The side entry doors will be propped open to avoid contact with handles
Any person who enters or remains in the church is required to wear a mask or face
covering. Exceptions are children under 2 years of age, anyone who requires
accommodation in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code, anyone who cannot
remove the mask without assistance and anyone who cannot wear a mask for medical
reasons. This provision is effective July 24, 2020.

➤  Greeters and Ushers will wear a mask

➤  Greeters will be stationed at 2 separate tables in the foyer – one table will be by the Mary
Room and the other at the opposite wall

➤  Greeters will direct people to use hand sanitizer, provide instructions and answer
questions as well as count numbers entering to avoid over-capacity

➤  Tape has been applied on the floors at the church entrance, in the foyer and in the aisles
of the church, to designate spacing of 2 metre (6 foot) increments and also indicate the
direction of movement

➤  The sidewalk outside the church has been marked to indicate physical distancing
requirements as well

➤  Two ushers will be present at each Mass

➤  Parishioners will be escorted to appropriate seating by the Ushers

➤  Fr. James will make an announcement prior to the end of each mass asking parishioners
to remain in their seats until escorted out by the ushers to ensure an orderly exit


Category: Seating

➤  Pews have been measured and rows have been roped off and will be kept empty to allow
sufficient distancing between rows

➤  Parishioners will also be seated at least 2 metres (6 feet) apart; (People living in the same
household can sit together)

➤  Ushers will escort parishioners to appropriate pew and will seat people further into the
pew to keep the centre aisles clear

➤  Ushers will seat people beginning at the front of the church (unless specifically requested

➤  Families will be seated at the outside of the pews

➤  An area at the front left side of the church has been designated for those who attend with
a personal mobility device

➤  The centre section of the second last row will be designated for those who wish Fr. James
to bring the Eucharist to them

➤  The outside section of the back row will be designated for those who do not wish to
receive Communion

➤  Walkers will be stowed at the back of the church along the back wall

➤  The church allows for seating for 36 individuals; capacity increases if parishioners come
as couples or families

➤  The church hall will be available for overflow; tape has been installed on the floor to
designate spacing of 2 metre (6 foot) increments and to indicate the direction of

➤  Parishioners in the church hall will be seated at least 2 metres (6 feet) apart


Category: Liturgy

➤  The Entrance Procession will take place directly from the sacristy

➤  There will only be one Lector present at each Mass

➤  The Lector will be seated at the front on the left side close to the ambo

➤  Announcements and Scripture Readings will all be done from the ambo

➤  The Lectionary will remain on the ambo so it will not be necessary for the Lector to enter
the sacristy

➤  The Greeting of Peace is maintained; a simple bow of the head towards one’s neighbour
is offered as a sign of peace (no hand shaking is permitted)

➤  After the priest has received Holy Communion, he will hold up the host for the
congregation to see and will say “The Body of Christ”; the congregation will respond
with “Amen”; during the distribution of Holy Communion, nothing is said

➤  Ushers will assist people in approaching for Holy Communion ensuring physical
distancing is maintained

➤  There will only be one Eucharistic Minister present at each Mass in addition to the Priest

➤  Eucharistic Ministers will wear a mask when distributing Holy Communion

➤  Fr. James will distribute Holy Communion to parishioners in the centre aisle

➤  The Eucharistic Minister will distribute Holy Communion to parishioners in the two
outside sections (first one side and then the other)

➤  Communion is received only in the hand at this time

➤  The Priest or Eucharistic Minister will carefully place the Sacred Host in the recipient’s
hand without touching the person; nothing is said

➤  There will only be one Cantor and a pianist/organist at each Mass

➤  The Cantor will be behind plexiglass to ensure physical distancing and safety of others
during singing

➤  There will be no congregational singing

➤  The screen at the front of the church will be used to provide information and reminders to


Category: Collections/Offerings

➤  Secured containers for parishioner’s offerings for Mass will be available behind the last
pews in each of the centre aisles

➤  Collection containers will be monitored by the Ushers to ensure security

➤  Collection containers will be on wheels so they can be easily moved into the sacristy for
safe depositing.


Other General Information

➤  Holy water fonts have been removed

➤  Entrance to the sacristy will be limited to those who are required to prepare for the liturgy
and limited to only one person at a time

➤  Hymn books and other paper items have been removed from pews and from the foyer

➤  Pyxes and directions will be stored in the sacristy and are also available at the altar; pyxes
will be available on request and at the discretion of Fr. James

➤  Live Streaming will continue at the 11 am Mass


Category: Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sanitizing Procedures

➤  All staff engaged in cleaning will wear a mask and disposable gloves

➤  Masks are to be disposed of when dirty or not later than the end of the day

➤  Gloves will be changed at the end of a task or after cleaning a washroom and hands are
washed (or rinsed with hand sanitizer) after removal of gloves

➤  Pew fronts and tops and sides of pew benches that are used will be wiped with a
disinfectant cleaner after each weekday mass and between each weekend mass

➤  The surface of the ambo will be wiped after each mass as well as Microphones and
keyboard/mouse used by the music ministry

➤  All surfaces (floors, seating, kneelers) will be cleaned with a disinfectant cleaner at least once a week

➤  Washrooms will be restricted to use when absolutely necessary only

➤  Only one stall in each washroom will be available for use and will be cleaned between
masses and more often as required

➤  Handwashing signs are posted in the washroom

➤  Signage indicating occupancy limit is posted outside washroom

➤  A wall-mounted hand sanitizing unit is available in the hallway outside the washrooms

➤  Two wall-mounted hand sanitizing units are installed in the entrance of the church (these
units are checked prior to each mass to ensure they are filled and operating properly)

➤  Two tables with bottles of hand sanitizers are set up in the foyer; a Greeter will be at each
table to provide direction and answer questions

➤  A bottle of hand sanitizer as well as disinfectant wipes will be available in the back pews
of the church

➤  Hand sanitizer is also available in the Sacristy and at the Altar

➤  A waste basket is located near the entrance/exit of church

St. Agnes Parish
1019 Brown Street Thunder Bay, ON
P7E 2L7

Office Hours:

Tuesday to Friday: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

P | 807 475.7489

F | 807 577 8820

E |



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© 2020 St. Agnes