Special to The Message
Editor’s note: The information in this story is based on current Indiana and local guidelines. Direction from the State of Indiana and local health departments could influence how these schedules unfold moving forward, so these dates may be subject to change.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s “Roadmap to Reopen Indiana for Hoosiers, Businesses and State Government,” issued May 1, 2020, lifts the attendance limit on public gatherings on July 4, 2020, and sets June 30, 2020, as the date on which school facilities may reopen. Taking these dates into account, and after consultation with the College of Consultors, Council of Priests, Deans and Diocesan Office Directors, Bishop Joseph M. Siegel has established the following guidelines for the Diocese of Evansville, effective June 30, 2020:
- Parish events may resume (meetings, youth ministry events, prayer groups, etc.).
- Parishes may commit to events scheduled by outside groups to be held in parish facilities.
- Pastors shall continue to have the discretion to determine the status of their respective parish operations. Parishes must adhere to safeguards required by the State of Indiana, in an effort to ensure a safe workplace.
- Diocesan employees at the Catholic Center, Catholic Charities and Campus Ministry Centers may return to work at their respective sites beginning June 15, 2020.
- The Catholic Center shall re-open to the public on July 6, 2020.
- Please note that the Sarto Retreat House continues to be used by the City of Evansville as a voluntary self-isolation center for people experiencing homelessness who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 so that they can be isolated as they wait for their symptoms to dissipate. The availability of the retreat house will depend on when it is no longer needed for this purpose, and when the city has fully cleaned and sanitized the facility and the Vanderburgh County Health Department has inspected it and approved its reopening.
Following Gov. Holcomb’s Roadmap, parish and diocesan events of up to 250 people may take place between June 30, 2020, and July 3, 2020. Beginning July 4, social gatherings of over 250 people may take place. It is critical that social distancing and sanitation requirements continue to be followed. Those age 65 and older, and those of any age with underlying medical issues, should adhere to social-distancing guidelines.
The Diocese of Evansville Catholic Schools Office will share details about the 2020-2021 schoolyear at a later date. Initial details appeared in the May 22, 2020, issue of The Message.