Diocese of Allentown suspends parts of mass to combat flu outbreak

The Diocese of Allentown announced today they are suspending parts of the Catholic mass in an effort combat the outbreak of influenza in the area.

Bishop Alfred Schlert directed 84 parishes in the diocese to temporarily suspend the sign of peace and the reception of communion from the chalice.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health recently raised the influenza status from "sporadic" to "widespread," which prompted the Bishop to issue the suspension.

The Diocese announced that the postponement will begin the weekend of Jan. 12 and will remain in effect until the influenza outbreak subsides.