PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Masks are returning to some churches.
The Diocese of Pittsburgh has updated its policies to reflect the spread of the Delta variant. And churches from different backgrounds are doing the same things to protect their congregations.READ MORE: 'When I Finally Got To Be Elvira, That's When My Life Calmed Down': Mistress Of The Dark Peels Back The Curtain
As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise, places of worship are updating their safety guidelines for those attending service.
“It’s as frustrating for us as it is for everyone in the country,” said Father James Orr with St. Stanislaus Church.
Father Orr is a priest at St. Stanislaus Church. The frustration he’s talking about is the ever-evolving practices to protect the church and worshippers from COVID-19.
“We’re doing what’s necessary to stop the spread of the disease, and we want to be as careful about that as possible,” he said.
The diocese has urged Catholics to wear masks indoors and get vaccinated. Outdoor mass will continue until further notice. And with mass obligations resuming next weekend, those with health risks are encouraged to stay home.READ MORE: Remember, Reflect At Tree Of Life: Commemorating The 11 Lives Lost 3 Years Ago In Synagogue Shooting
Meanwhile, similar mitigation efforts are being done at Mt. Ararat Baptist Church.
“We are 6 feet apart. And you see the Mass, they clean after every service,” said Joan Howard at Mt. Ararat Baptist Church.
From live-streaming to in-person services, places of worship are now being extra cautious in how they operate.
“Every week is different than the last couple of weeks we’ve been here. So everything has been running smooth. But with the numbers going up, there’s a healthy fear of us shutting down again,” said Thomas Tarpley at Mt. Ararat Baptist Church.
Some congregations do believe there may be a light at the end of this tunnel, however.
“These pandemics will always come and go,” Howard said. “I don’t believe there will be a time when they’ll be totally gone, I mean the flu is always here. So the church will have to adapt.”MORE NEWS: Man Hospitalized After Being Run Over By Wood Chipper
With the ever-changing dynamics of the virus, there’s an understanding that religious leaders are going to be flexible. Policies could change based on county, state and federal guidelines.