The Navy Chief of Chaplains gave guidance to the Chaplain Corps to mitigate 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID19) while continuing to provide for the religious needs of the fleet, March 18, 2020.

Chaplains are expected to meet with their commanders to discuss the importance of religious ministries during crises as well as how to align their activities with their local Health Protection Condition Level.

“Chaplains and Religious Program Specialists at all levels must find creative ways to minimize risk while continuing to serve their shipmates,” said Rear Adm. Brent W. Scott, Chief of Chaplains. “It is during times like these that the mission of the Chaplain Corps is most vital.”

Religious Ministry teams are further directed to:

Assess the risk of their activities and day-to-day business

Suspend the handling, serving, of sharing of food and refreshments in chapels until further notice

Consult with their Religious Organization concerning any precautionary measure or ecclesiastical amendment

Find creative ways of using social media platforms to communicate spiritual strength and encouragement to your entire region or installation

“I have the upmost confidence in your ability to navigate these rough water and to bring Religious Ministries to Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and their families during this turbulent time,” said Scott. “The peace and hope that you bring to this unique fight will help carry the day.”

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