Coronavirus concerns could force change at mass, polling locations

Coronavirus
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CLEVELAND (WJW) – Fears about the spread of the coronavirus could prompt changes at polling locations and places of worship across Northeast Ohio.

Officials at the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland say precautionary measures regarding communion and exchanging the sign of the peace might be taken at the discretion of the pastor if the coronavirus spreads to Ohio. 

This includes temporarily suspending communion from the cup in addition to exchanging the sign of peace without physical contact.

“Right now I’m really not worried about it,” said Jim DiMarco outside the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. “I mean if I turn to you and you extend your hand, I’m going to shake it and if you don’t then you know I understand where you’re coming from.”

If the virus continues to spread, voters could also notice changes at their polling locations. 

A Cuyahoga County Board of Election official said they’re monitoring options for Ohio’s primary on March 17 but says it’s too early to determine what specific hygiene and sanitizing changes, if any, would be implemented.

“I still plan to vote. It’s obviously very important. I think if they provided maybe a wet nap,” said Mark Gurko. “Purell or something like that I think maybe give people peace of mind.”

Click here for more information on illness prevention during liturgical celebrations.

Continuing coverage, here.

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