SPECIAL STATEMENT: Johnson County Parishes – 3/12/20
Given that most of the cases of COVID-19 in Iowa are in Johnson County, and that the number of reported positive tests is increasing, at the order of the Bishop, the parishes and schools in Johnson County are to move immediately to STEP THREE in our pandemic policy. In addition to those interventions called for in STEP TWO, the further changes to be made are listed below. At the same time, all Catholics in Johnson County are dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass as long as we are in STEP THREE or higher of the policy. As a reminder, across the diocese, those who are sick or who are caring for the sick, those who are at high-risk from COVID-19 (the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions such as heart and lung disease, diabetes, or who have weakened immune systems), and those with the elderly and medically-frail at home, are dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass as long as the COVID-19 outbreak continues in the community. Those who will not be in attendance at Mass are urged to join in prayer with the Church, either by watching or listening to broadcasted Masses or at least reading and meditating on the readings of the day.