Health and Wellness Tips from the Diocese and its Partners

Handout: Handwashing Saves Lives
The Flu and Influenza: Link to handouts including flu basics & prevention
Enterovirus D68:
What parents should know

Understanding Ebola:
Link to facts, prevention and health tips

DPB Ebola Protocol
Read Press Release

In an abundance of precaution, the Diocese of Palm Beach is working in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Florida Department of Health to help educate and reduce the potential transmission of illnesses. This includes preventing the spreading of flu, Enterovirus D68 and Ebola. Being prepared, educated and using good hygiene can help us remain healthy.

Via its website and parishes, the diocese is sharing information about general health and wellness tips produced by the CDC and the health department. Much more information than that found on this diocesan web page can be found on the websites of the CDC and the state health department. Please click on the links below to visit those websites. Also below on this diocesan web page, the Diocese of Palm Beach is addressing common concerns some parishioners may have about our practices during Mass in our Churches.

Website for the Centers for Disease Control:

Website for the Florida Department of Health:

Website for the World Health Organization:


The above websites also provide printable one-page sheets of information that can provide prevention and care tips for you and your family on the flu, Enterovirus D68 and Ebola. You can also download preparedness checklists.

Diocese of Palm Beach Encourages Following CDC Guidelines to Prevent Illness

The Diocese of Palm Beach is encouraging individuals in its parishes and schools to follow the guidelines set forth by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Florida Department of Health in order to prevent the spreading of illnesses such as the flu, Enterovirus D-68 and Ebola.

CDC Guidelines state one of the most important steps to take to stay healthy and prevent the spread of illness is to wash your hands with soap and water frequently and for at least 20 seconds. Also, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands. Health experts also suggest if you are not feeling well you should stay home from work or school.

For more guidelines, the latest information and updates, visit and

Get Informed! What to Know Ebola and Other Viruses

The Diocese of Palm Beach is helping health officials to inform people of how to protect themselves from Ebola and other viruses. These steps are guidelines set forth by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Florida Department of Health.

To Protect Yourself:

  • Do wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Do NOT touch the blood or body fluid of people who are sick.
  • Do NOT handle items that may have come in contact with a sick person’s blood or body fluids, like clothes, bedding or medical equipment.

Ebola is a hemorrhagic fever. Ebola is NOT spread through the air, water, or food. Individuals need to be aware that you can only get Ebola from contact with bodily fluids from a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola, or from exposure to contaminated objects, such as needles

Additional safety guidelines, the latest information and updates on Ebola can be found at and

Health officials also suggest that following basic hygiene steps like washing your hands will also help reduce the likelihood of getting the flu or Enterovirus D68, a respiratory illness. Prevention and Care Guidelines for those illnesses can also be found at and

Concerns While Attending Mass

The first and foremost advice to help prevent the spread of the flu or any illness is to encourage parishioners to stay at home when they are not feeling well.

The most frequent concerns for people attending Mass have to do with receiving the Precious Blood from a common cup, greeting people with a handshake or kiss at the Sign of Peace and holding hands while praying the Lord’s Prayer. Although there is no reason to ask parishes to stop offering the Precious Blood at this time, parishioners should be assured that Christ is fully present in each species and no one is ever under any obligation to receive both.  That is a personal decision.

At the Sign of Peace, parishioners should feel free to discontinue shaking hands or embracing.  Simple eye contact, a smile and a bow of the head with the words “peace be with you” is sufficient.  Holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer is simply a local custom and not part of liturgical guidelines.  So no one should feel obliged to do so.

For those not feeling well and staying home, please note you may watch the Mass on TV. Each week the Diocese of Palm Beach airs its weekly televised Mass starting at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings on the CW34 WTVX. Priests from around the five counties of the diocese along with Bishop Barbarito bring the Mass to the sick, homebound and all the people of God on a weekly basis. Masses are also posted on the diocesan website. Please visit to view weekly Masses.

En Espanol

Las preocupaciones de salud mientras asisto a Misa

Lo primero y más aconsejable para ayudar a prevenir la propagación de la gripe o cualquier enfermedad es animar a los feligreses a quedarse en casa cuando no se sienten bien.

Las preocupaciones más frecuentes de las personas que asisten a misa tienen que ver con la recepción de la Preciosa Sangre de una copa común, saludando a la gente con un apretón de manos o un beso en la Señal de la Paz y de la mano mientras se reza el Padre Nuestro. Aunque no hay razón para pedir a las parroquias a dejar de ofrecer la Preciosa Sangre en este momento, los feligreses deben tener la seguridad de que Cristo está totalmente presente en cada especie y nadie está nunca bajo ninguna obligación de recibir ambas. Esa es una decisión personal.

En el momento de dar la paz, los feligreses deben sentirse libres para no dar la mano o abrazar. El simple contacto de los ojos, una sonrisa y una inclinación de la cabeza con las palabras "La paz esté con ustedes" es suficiente.  El hecho de tomarse de la mano durante la oración del Padrenuestro es simplemente una costumbre local y no forma parte de las directrices litúrgicas. Así que nadie debe sentirse obligado a hacerlo.

Para aquellos que no se sienten bien y se quedan  en casa, deben saber que por motivo de salud pueden ver la Misa en la televisión. La Diócesis de Palm Beach transmite su misa televisada semanal a las 10:30 de la mañana el domingo en la cadena de televisión CW34 WTVX. Esta Misa televisada para los enfermos, discapacitados y todo el pueblo de Dios es celebrada por sacerdotes de todos los cinco condados de la diócesis junto con el Obispo Barbarito. Las homilías de esta Misa semanal también se publican en el sitio web de la diócesis. Por favor, visite

Read Press Release: Diocese of Palm Beach Takes Abundance of Precaution, Providing Health Tips, Implementing an Ebola Protocol for Employees and Volunteers Traveling