Rules and Recommendations to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

Anonymous - Posted on 13 March 2020

Dear Parishioners,

At this time of growing concern as a result of the increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, we would like to bring to your attention a number of recommendations from the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, as well as new regulations imposed by  the Snohomish County Health District regarding public events with up to 250 participants.

1.     Any parishioners who present symptoms of COVID-19 must comply with the instructions  received from medical specialists for the prescribed period of time of 14 days and refrain from attending services.

2.     Older people, as well as those suffering from underlying chronic health conditions, regardless of age, are advised, per Snohomish County Health District’s requirement, to refrain from attending services.

3.     Parishioners who are absent from services should maintain their prayer rule, engage in spiritual reading, watch services transmitted over the internet, if available, and utilize the liturgical resources available on the website of the Orthodox Church in America (

4.     Parishioners attending services are encouraged to limit personal contact and to maintain as much distance from their fellow parishioners as possible. They should also wash their hands thoroughly and frequently, cover their coughs and sneezes and avoid sharing personal items, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (

5.     As an temporary safety measure while COVID-19 remains a concern, parishioners should refrain from physical contact when receiving blessings. Additionally, we recommend  that the veneration of icons only consist of a humble bow and the offering of the sign of the cross.

6.     Church volunteers will intensify their efforts to scrupulously clean church facilities and high-touch objects such as icons, chalices, communion spoons, and the blessing cross.

7.     In an effort to do all we can to prevent the spread of the virus in our community, Sunday luncheons and Sunday School are suspended until further notice. At memorial services (“parastas”) performed during this time, parishioners should only bring funeral cake (“coliva”), bread and wine.

We thank you for your understanding and collaboration and will promptly inform you of any new developments. May our Merciful God protect us and grant us the power and wisdom we need to surpass these difficulties.

Wishing you a blessed Lenten season,

Rev. Fr. Ioan and the Parish Council