Youth 2000 Statement on the Coronavirus

Youth 2000 Statement on the Coronavirus

 

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

 

As you are aware, the situation on the Island of Ireland around COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is changing rapidly.

 

The Catholic Bishops Conference have released their official guidance (you can find this at www.catholicbishops.ie), calling for all “All non-essential pastoral gatherings and meetings” to be cancelled. Therefore, together with the guidance already published by the HSE and HSC, Youth 2000 has taken the decision to suspend all its activities for the next two weeks. This includes all Prayer Meetings and social gatherings.

 

A statement will be released on 30th March to further update our extended Youth 2000 family on the situation in Ireland and COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the work and mission of Youth 2000.

 

This decision was taken prayerfully and carefully, and such decisions are never taken lightly. At present we are ramping up our online presence and activities so watch this space. We also ask you to pray for the people of Ireland, all those affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus) worldwide, all our medical staff, clergy and more who are on the front lines treating and ministering to people affected by the virus. Also we ask that you pray for Youth 2000 and our mission of leading young people to the heart of the Church at this time. May we suggest the extract of St. Patrick’s Breastplate and the Memorare as recommended by the Catholic Bishops Conference. See below:

 

Extract from Saint Patrick’s Breastplate

 

Christ with me,

Christ before me,

Christ behind me,

Christ in me,

Christ beneath me,

Christ above me,

Christ on my right,

Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down,

Christ when I sit down,

Christ when I arise,

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.

 

Memorare

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,

that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection,

implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided.

Inspired with this confidence,

I fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.

To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.

O Mother of the Word Incarnate,

despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer.  Amen.

 

We will continue to hold you, your intentions and all you love up in our daily prayer.

 

God bless you all,

 

Youth 2000 Leadership

 

—–

 

The advice in this document is based upon official advice from the HSE (Republic of Ireland) and the HSC (Northern Ireland) and extends to Youth 2000 in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

 

This document includes general advice about preventing the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) for Youth 2000 events.

 

Further information on the websites below for the Republic of Ireland (ROI) and Northern Ireland (NI):

Further sources of information

This list is neither exclusive nor exhaustive.

 

General recommendations for all

 

Youth 2000 asks that all attendees at Youth 2000 events follow all HSE and HSC guidance on hygiene and not spreading COVID-19 (Coronavirus), including sneezing into your elbow, not shaking hands or making unnecessary physical contact and regularly and correctly washing your hands (See HSE hand hygiene guidance at https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/how-to-wash-your-hands.html).

 

Youth 2000 would also request that if you have been to any of the areas indicated by the HSE and HSC as having a risk around contracting COVID-19 (Coronavirus) (See HSE and NHS websites for most recent updates) then you should not attend a Youth 2000 Prayer Group or any Youth 2000 event for a minimum of 14 days and should seek medical advice.

 

Also, if you have been in contact with a person who has COVID-19 (Coronavirus), or you attended/worked in a healthcare facility where patients with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) were being treated, then Youth 2000 would request that you do not attend any Youth 2000 Prayer Groups or any Youth 2000 events for a minimum of 14 days and should seek medical advice. If you are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) then Youth 2000 would request that you follow the guidelines of contacting your relevant medical practitioner or helpline, and that you do not attend any Youth 2000 Prayer Groups or any Youth 2000 events until you are declared medically clear from possible COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

 

Long-standing government advice has been that it makes good sense to take precautions to limit the spread of disease by not sharing common vessels for food and drink. Attendees should endeavour to follow this. It is encouraged that posters (see HSE and NHS websites) on preventing the spread of infection be displayed visibly at Youth 2000 events.

 

Specific Guidance around Youth 2000 events

 

Youth 2000 leaders preparing events are required to:

 

  1. Ensure that there is a suitable and effective hand-sanitizer available to all attendees

  2. Ensure that there are tissues available to all attendees

  3. Ensure that there are bins available to all attendees so they can dispose of any used tissues

  4. Ensure that alcohol wipes or a suitable disinfectant is available and then safely wipe down all surfaces that would be touched by attendees both before and after a Youth 2000 event

  5. Ensure that a register of attendees is taken of all the people who attend the event. This register should contain, at a minimum, the name of the individual and a contact number (or a contact number for their next of kin if the person is under 18). This register must be kept in a secure manner and in line with all GDPR regulations.

  6. Ensure that posters (available on the HSE and HSC websites) are displayed visibly for all attendees advising them on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) what its symptoms are and what to do if they suspect they have Covid-19 or the Coronavirus, have been in direct contact with someone with it, or have returned from an area where the governments of ROI and NI have deemed to be a risk of contraction of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) (See the HSE and HSC websites for the most updated list of countries and areas).

  7. Ensure there is a plan for dealing with attendees who become ill with symptoms of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) during a Youth 2000 event, including isolating them from other people and seeking medical advice without delay (e.g. phone a GP/ Emergency Services).

  8. Ensure hand-washing facilities, including soap and disposable towels, are well maintained and available to all attendees.

  9. Ensure that there is a plan in place regarding cooking and eating at the event to help prevent COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

  10. Notify the public through the Youth 2000 website if Youth 2000 events will continue or be suspended in light of an escalating situation with COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

 

Youth 2000 will continue to follow the guidance from the Dioceses we work with, the government and relevant authorities.

 

Youth 2000 is faithful to the liturgy of the Catholic Church at all its events and places great reverence upon upholding this liturgy in all its richness and fullness. Therefore Youth 2000 will be guided by our Spiritual Fathers, the Dioceses we work with and government recommendations in regards to appropriate interaction and religious practice in the component parts of Youth 2000 events in light of the current situation regarding the presence of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. Also, because of the infectious nature of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the practice of shaking hands on greeting and departure or hugging at gatherings should be discouraged for attendees. Best hygiene practice should continue to be observed in all contexts.

 

More information on HSE recommendations regarding religious events can be found here: https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/guidance/religioussettingsguidance/COVID%2019_Guidance%20for%20religious%20services%20V1.5.pdf

 

Specific Guidance to Youth 2000 Prayer Groups

 

A FIVE STEP APPROACH

 

Youth 2000 Prayer Group leaders are required to:

 

  • Ensure that there is a suitable and effective hand-sanitizer and tissues are available to all attendees at a Prayer Group

  • Ensure that posters (available on the HSE and HSC websites) are displayed visibly for all Prayer Group attendees advising them on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) what its symptoms are and what to do if they suspect they have Covid-19 or the Coronavirus, have been in direct contact with someone with it, or have returned from an area where the governments of ROI and NI have deemed to be a risk of contraction of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) (See the HSE and HSC websites for the most updated list of countries and areas).

  • Ensure that hand-washing facilities, including soap and disposable towels, are available to and well-maintained, also to ensure that there are bins available to all attendees at a Prayer Group so they can dispose of any used tissues

  • Ensure that alcohol wipes or a suitable disinfectant is available and then safely wipe down all surfaces that would be touched by attendees both before and after a Prayer Group

  • Ensure that a register of attendees is taken of all the people who attend the Prayer group each week. This register should contain the name of the individual and a contact number (or a contact number for their next of kin if the person is under 18). This register must be kept in a secure manner and in line with all GDPR regulations.

 

Prayer Group leaders are required to have a plan for dealing with attendees who become ill with symptoms of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) during a Youth 2000 Prayer Group, including isolating them from other people and seeking medical advice without delay (e.g. phone a GP/ Emergency Services).

 

Prayer Group leaders will notify the public through the Youth 2000 National Office and website if Youth 2000 Prayer Groups will continue or be suspended in the event of an escalating situation surrounding COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Youth 2000 will liaise and work with all the relevant agencies and carry out best practice in the event of an escalating situation regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

 

__________

 

The safety of all our brothers and sisters in Christ, including their physical and spiritual well-being, is our top priority. We thank you for all that you do in this regard.

 

As the situation in Ireland and Northern Ireland around COVID-19 (Coronavirus) develops we will update this statement to include additional measures where appropriate and recommended by the Government or relevant authorities.

 

We continue to pray for you all.

 

God bless.

 

First version: 27th February 2020

Second version: 6th March 2020

Third version: 10th March 2020

 

Updated: 12th March 2020