By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) —  The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has announced that nearly two dozen Minnesota priests have tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be able to hold Mass Sunday.

Due to the number of infected clergies, there may not be enough fill-in priests to cover Mass in some parishes, according to a statement.

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Parishes will either have the option to cancel all services or hold a non-Mass Service such as Sunday Celebration in the Absence of a Priest (SCAP) or a Word and Communion Service.

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According to COVID-19 Mass guidelines provided by The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, a person can be excused from attending Mass on Sundays or Holy Days under certain circumstances:

1. You have reason to believe your health would be significantly compromised if you were to contract a communicable illness (i.e., you have underlying conditions or are in a high-risk category).

2. You exhibit flu-like symptoms.

3. You have good reason to think you might be asymptomatic of a contagious illness (e.g. You were in recent contact with someone who tested positive for a contagious illness such as COVID-19 or influenza).

4. You care for the sick, homebound, or infirmed.

5. You are pregnant or you are 65 years of age or older (per the CDC’s recommendation for high-risk individuals).

6. You cannot attend Mass through no fault of your own (e.g., no Mass is offered; you are infirm; or, while wanting to go, you are prevented for some reason you cannot control, such as your ride did not show up).

7. You have significant fear or anxiety of becoming ill by being at Mass.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis says if situations 1-3 apply to a person, they say to stay home. If within situations 4-7, they say to “exercise good judgment” when it comes to attending Mass.

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