Churches taking precautions to prevent the spread of the flu - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Churches taking precautions to prevent the spread of the flu

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MONONA (WKOW) - Local churches are changing the way they offer communion as a precaution to prevent spreading the flu.

On any given Sunday, roughly 200 to 400 people attend mass at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.  During this rough flu season, Father Chad Droessler, the pastor for the church, has noticed a dip in attendance. 

"We check every day for parishioners in the hospital and just this week there has been an average of 10 people in the hospital. It's really affected the community," says Father Droessler. 

According to the pastor, within the last week the Diocese of Madison sent an email to all parishes asking them to communicate to their parishioners to "practice common sense, especially if you're going to receive communion."

Communion is a part of Christian worship at which bread and wine are consecrated and shared.  Typically, the bread is received by hand or taken directly by mouth; the wine is taken by a shared chalice. 

The Diocese recommends refraining from drinking from the chalice during communion and not shaking hands during the sign of peace. 

Droessler says, "Catholics are required to go to mass every Sunday...but nonetheless, if you're feeling like you're exhibiting symptoms of illness, stay home. God doesn't require the impossible."

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