The Diocese of Harrisburg announced that in continued alignment with local, state, and federal health guidelines, effective immediately, all fully vaccinated parishioners no longer need to wear masks when attending Mass, according to a release from the diocese.

This move comes after the state of Pennsylvania immediately adopted the recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding fully vaccinated people.

“Fully vaccinated” means two weeks after a second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. People who do not meet those requirements are not considered fully vaccinated, and must keep taking all precautions. Clergy and ministers will continue to wear masks for the processionals and the distribution of Holy Communion.

Capacity limits for Masses will also be lifted the weekend of May 29-30. Although capacities are being lifted and masking guidelines are relaxing for the fully vaccination, the Dispensation from the Obligation for attending Mass remains in place.

“Lifting the masking guidelines for those fully vaccinated and lifting capacity limits for our parishes for the celebration of Mass is a positive step as we all look forward to the day that life returns to some sense of normal,” said Most Reverend Ronald Gainer, Bishop of Harrisburg. “I encourage all our faithful, especially if you are in good health and have resumed other public activities, to begin returning to Mass. While we still have a challenging road ahead, now is the time to start coming together as one Catholic family to thank God for our many blessings.”

All parishes in the Diocese of Harrisburg have been opened for in-person Masses since June 2020 with masking and social distancing guidelines in place. The Diocese continues to closely monitor COVID-19 guidelines and recommends from the Department of Health and the CDC.

The Diocese of Harrisburg comprises 89 parishes across 15 counties in central Pennsylvania. To learn more about the Diocese, visit our website at www.hbgdiocese.org.

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