I’m not aware of other dioceses doing this. It comes from a new directive by Bishop Michael Olson:
The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. The Eucharist is what unites us together with the Church triumphant in heaven, the Church militant, and the Church suffering.
After consultation with my priests and civic officials at local and state levels, and in cooperating with them for the good of society, I am informing you that Mass will continue to be celebrated at the scheduled times throughout the territory of the Diocese of Fort Worth, but without a congregation physically present in the church. This will begin tomorrow, March 19, 2020. I am asking that priests celebrate these Masses assisted by a deacon and server/acolyte for the published intention at the scheduled time in the main sanctuary of the parish church. Holy Communion will then be distributed outside of church in designated spaces after Mass for those who are present in their cars or separated by a safe distance. It is to be distributed in an open space with safe social distancing, in the hand, and not through a car window. If inclement weather prohibits this, Holy Communion may be distributed in the church with safe social distancing and without crowding with due respect for the limits on gathering size. Because of the extraordinary circumstances in which we are called to minister, I am requiring that Holy Communion be received in the hand to prevent the spread of contagion.
I’d be curious to know what medical professionals think about this.
UPDATE: My friend Dr. Barbara Golder posted something indirectly related to this on Facebook a short time ago. It suggests this may not be the most prudent idea. To wit:
Let’s be clear: whenever people who are not sharing living space already congregate, the virus can be passed on. And social distancing goes out the window in the communion line and narthex. So this creates a risk for taking that virus elsewhere—especially to the at risk—or passing it along because one has it and doesn’t know it. The exposure of the priest is huge if he distributes communion. Servers rarely keep the required distance from each other. And make no mistake: this virus can be deadly even in the young.
The Eucharist is the source and summit of faith but not the sum total of it. I’d suggest if because of the Eucharist one risks one’s life for another’s needs, one is on the right track. If because of the Eucharist one risks another’s life for one’s own desires, not so much. And if one thinks of the Eucharist as a talisman against all misfortune, some time looking at a cross might be in order.