WASHINGTON (RNS)—The White House and federal health officials have released guidelines recommending that worshippers take precautions against spreading germs to reduce the risk of contracting swine flu.
The guide, released by the White House Office for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the Department of Health and Human Services, suggests that houses of worship encourage congregants to wash their hands often, use hand sanitizer, avoid crowded situations and interact without physical contact when possible.
It also urges religious leaders to keep in contact with local health organizations and closely adhere to their recommendations.
Joshua DuBois, the director of the faith-based office, said in a news release that faith leaders have significant power to help spread the word on how to stay healthy.
The National Association of Evangelicals e-mailed its member congregations to suggest preparations for flu season by following the White House guide, which can be found online at www.flu.gov.