AUSTIN, Texas - There have been over 80,000 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, worldwide. One church in Downtown Austin is responding to this by taking extra steps during its congregations to protect its worshipers.
“There's been a lot of information about being aware and being especially concerned about congregational gatherings and this is obviously a congregational gathering,” said Reverend Janet Maykus.
Reverend Janet Maykus is the Interim Senior Minister at Central Christian Church in Downtown Austin. She says she has been keeping up with the news on the Coronavirus.
“This is a new virus that we're not aware of and it's spreading rapidly. We don't know exactly how the ramifications of what that will be,” she said.
To prepare, this church is taking all the precautions it can to protect its worshipers.
“There are a lot of things that we're not in control of, we are only in control of what our actions are,” said Reverend Maykus.
During the service, only bread was served during communion and the people passing it out wore gloves. People were also told to refrain from shaking hands and hugging during the passing of the peace. Instead, they were encouraged to bump elbows and flash peace signs.
“We can enjoy each other's company without touching each other and spreading all of our germs. We're doing what we can to be good stewards,” said Reverend Maykus.
Reverend Maykus says the church will continue these precautions until told otherwise.
“We will continue to do all the sorts of things that we do as a Christian community, but we're also going to be aware of the science and we're going to follow the directions that the various researchers and doctors have asked,” she said.
The Central Christian Church does not have any plans to cancel any services in the future.