SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – After a three-month hiatus, Sioux City Catholics may be able to gather together under one roof.

Bishop Walker Nickless announced Sunday that the suspension of public Masses in the Diocese of Sioux City has been lifted.  Beginning the weekend of June 27-28, parishes in the diocese will open for weekend Masses at the discretion of their pastors.  

The Bishop and the Diocese of Sioux City COVID task force have used a 14-day downward trajectory in COVID-related activity as a benchmark for their decision.

Based on the data they have reviewed, Diocese officials believe they will reach the 14-day benchmark between June 20-24.

Churches choosing to reopen later this month will be required to follow specific disease prevention guidelines including spacing pews, wearing mandatory face masks, using hand sanitizer and practicing social distancing.  While Mass is open to all, the Diocese recommends the elderly, more vulnerable and high-risk parishioners remain at home.

As of July 6, parishes are allowed to hold weekday Masses twice per week.  At that time, churches may also be open to the public two hours per day, five days per week.

At the pastor’s discretion, normal Mass schedules may be followed as of July 20.

Should COVID-19 data suggest a significant increase in cases within the Diocese, churches may decide to lock down again.

To see a list of instructions for resuming public celebration of the Mass, click here.