Local Churches Make Changes During Flu Season

January 11, 2013 Updated Jan 12, 2013 at 4:22 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

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January 11, 2013 Updated Jan 12, 2013 at 4:22 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - With the flu virus sweeping the nation, local churches are already making changes to try and keep their parishioners healthy. At True Bethel Baptist Church on Buffalo's East Side, maintenance workers have altered their cleaning routine and some worship services have been changed at the Niagara Falls location.

"In Niagara Falls the fellowship hour is one that is usually one of embracing, holding hands, and greeting neighbors during service," said True Bethel Baptist Church Pastor Darius Pridgen. "That will be suspended until we feel that we've got a handle on the flu virus.

Pridgen also says hand sanitizer stations are placed throughout the church and items in the nursery are constantly scrubbed and disinfected. Door handles that were normally cleaned weekly are now wiped down after every service.

"We want people to go to their churches, mosques and temples but when you're sick, it does call for common sense," added Pridgen.

Within the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, sick parishioners are asked to refrain from drinking from the chalice at Communion and shaking hands.