COVID safety precautions needed in Connecticut for Easter Sunday

The holidays come at a time when COVID numbers are rising in Connecticut.

HARTFORD, Conn. – COVID is still with us as Connecticut residents observe Holy Week.

Connecticut residents took to the pews with masks to pray before Mass on Maundy Thursday at Our Lady of Fatima Church, serving the Portuguese Catholic community in Hartford.

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It is one of the many days of Holy Week preceding Easter Sunday. The church also has services scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

“So far we are very happy to be able to come back to meet and the restrictions have been lifted but we remain cautious,” said Father António Jorge Tchingui of Our Lady of Fatima Church.

The church is offering individual communion, but no wine at this time as a COVID safety measure. Father Jorge said there is no capacity limit but it is not as full as before the pandemic because some people still want to stay at home right now.

The possibility of wearing a mask is left to the parishioners.

“It’s an individual choice to wear a mask or not, but we strongly encourage it. Ultimately, everyone must make the best decision for themselves,” said Teresa Duarte of Rocky Hill.

This easing of restrictions comes around the time Passover and Ramadan are also observed.

Whether you plan to attend a faith gathering or have a celebration at home, there are some COVID precautions to keep in mind.

“Whether you’re vaccinated or not, we know you can still get COVID, and we know vaccines help you stay out of the hospital and keep you from getting mild illness, but you can still spreading it,” Liany E. Arroyo, Hartford’s chief health officer, said. “If you’re sick, stay home, and if you really want to be part of this gathering, get tested.”

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Arroyo also said that if possible, hold your gathering outdoors or open a window for additional ventilation.

“COVID is still here it looks like it is going to be here with us for a long time but we have the tools we need so if you are not vaccinated it is never too late to start your vaccination series “, she mentioned.

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She also said that if you have high-risk family members, you might consider requiring guests to be fully vaccinated and boosted or get tested before coming to your gathering.

Ultimately, she said if you feel more comfortable, wear a mask.

Elisha Machado is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at emachado@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and instagram.

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Susan W. Lloyd