Houses of worship, community centers continue precautions against Coronavirus


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – With the arrival of the weekend, many houses of worship and community centers welcome larger groups of people into their buildings. After the first confirmed case of the Coronavirus in Indiana, specifically Marion County, they are taking their preparations seriously.

“We wash our hands 15 times a day,” Imam Ahmed Alamine, of Masjid Al-Fajr, said.

Alamine explained the Muslim community already takes precautions against the Coronavirus through their religious practices.

“As Muslims, we pray five times a day,” Alamine said. “Each time you pray, we have to make ablution and ablution is washing your hands three times. Then, you wash your face, your nose, your mouth.”

Alamine affirms his congregation asked him to focus Friday’s message around the Coronavirus.

“One of the audiences last week told me, ‘hey you need to talk about this virus and how we can protect ourselves,'” Alamine said.

The Catholic Churches across Indiana and Illinois are urged to make anti-virus preparations too. Most are limiting physical contact, continuing to wash their hands, even using alcohol-based antibacterial sanitizer, before and after giving out Holy Communion, suspending the use of the chalice for Holy Communion until at least Easter and even refraining from using the Holy Water fonts.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis works out of a 50 acre campus on Indy’s north side. Daily, thousands of people of all ages come in and out of the building on Hoover Road.

“We need to congregate, we need to come together as a community,” Debra Barton Grant, Executive Vice President & CEO, said. “That’s an important part of living a happy, healthy life.”

Grant asserts they too are taking the Coronavirus seriously.

“Expanding our cleaning protocol, putting up signs in our restrooms on how to wash your hands,” Grants said. “We’ve all instructed our employees that if you are sick, do not come to work.”

They urge people to only rely on public health professionals for their information, and we agree. That is why we are working diligently to bring you the facts.

The CDC says the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

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