Chicago Archdiocese gives parishes the option of letting the vaccinated go maskless

Churches will have to check proof of vaccination if leaders want to allow churchgoers to remove face masks during Mass.

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The Archdiocese of Chicago, 835 N. Rush St.

The Archdiocese of Chicago has issued new protocols for people attending Mass now that Illinois is in the “bridge” phase of reopening.

Tyler LaRiviere/Archivos Sun-Times

The Archdiocese of Chicago on Friday told parishes they can allow fully vaccinated people to attend Mass without a face mask if they check proof of vaccination.

Alternatively, parishes can continue to require masks in church.

“This option is best if a parish does not have a sufficiently staffed, dedicated greeter team to assume the added responsibility of validating attendees’ vaccination status,” the archdiocese announced Friday.

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The archdiocese said a photograph of the vaccination card would be sufficient proof.

Indoor capacity has also increased to 60% for religious services. For social gatherings, the limit is 250 people indoors and 500 outdoors, as the city has moved into the “bridge” stage of reopening.

Face masks must continue to be worn in all archdiocesan schools and at school events until the end of the school year.

“Since the vast majority of students and children are not yet vaccinated, this application of the mask mandate makes it easier to administer on the part of school leadership and continues our ongoing efforts to keep young people safe,” the archdiocese said.

The church will continue to urge social distancing and hand washing/sanitizing, as well registration to manage capacity limits and possible contact tracing.

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