FEZANA, NORTH AMERICAN MOBEDS COUNCIL ISSUE JOINT STATEMENT REITTERATING CDC GUIDANCE ON COVID-19 RISK MITIGATION FOR PLACES OF WORSHIP
As Zarathushti associations and groups begin to open their doors or put together their plans for limited capacity in-person worship, the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America (FEZANA) and the North American Mobeds Council (NAMC) have joined forces to offer and reiterate guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on reducing risk exposure to COVID-19 to the greatest extent possible for our Mobeds/priests and congregations.
Ervad Adi Sidhwa (left) and Ervad Cyrus Pavri reciting prayers for a virtual congregation at the Annual Eruch Munshi Udvada Fundraiser, Sunday, Oct. 18, at the Zoroastrian Association of Greater New York (ZAGNY); setting the example and showing respect for one another, both priests wore masks under their Padans.
- Anyone entering a Zoroastrian place of worship should wear a mask out of respect for their fellow Zarathushtis: including Mobeds, administrators, congregants, visitors, vendors and janitorial staff.
- Socially distance 6’ to 10’ – no hugs, no hand shakes, no elbow bumps or close conversations.
- If you are elderly, have pre-existing health issues, or are sick, please use common sense and think twice about whether you want to put yourself and/or others at risk; and if prayers virtually via platforms like Zoom are perhaps a wiser option.
- If you live with the elderly (parents/grandparents), think about your actions, movements and interactions, and have a plan to address the risk of infection within the home.
- Become familiar with your local (county-by-county) numbers: positivity rate, number of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths; if you are located in a community where numbers are trending upward, use extra caution.
- USA spotlight: 55,000 new cases per day; 38 states within the United States (at the date of this publication) are surging in new Coronavirus cases as colder weather months approach.
Total U.S. cases: 8.14 million; total U.S. deaths: 220,000 as of October 18, 2020.
Source: Johns Hopkins University, The New York Times, Wikipedia
Canada spotlight: while largely under control in Canada in proportion to percentage of population and population density, Coronavirus remains a global pandemic capable of metastasizing quickly.
Total Canada cases: 197,000; total Canada deaths: 9,751 as of October 18, 2020.
Worldwide we continue to see lockdowns and other stringent measures taken, in particular within cities with dense population, as cases spike and the pandemic spreads.