Citing danger from the coronavirus, the Los Angeles Archdiocese announced Tuesday it was closing all its churches until further notice.
The decision was made in hopes of slowing the spread of the virus, church officials said. The order began Tuesday.
"``Our community of faith is fully committed to doing all we can to limit the spread of this global public health threat,” Archbishop Jose H. Gomez said. “We are taking these extraordinary steps to ensure the safety and well-being of the faithful and the public, as well as all who continue to serve in our parishes and ministries.”
Earlier this month, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles announced it was lifting the obligation of attending Sunday Mass from its parishioners.
Under Tuesday’s order:
- Church offices are closed to the public. Pastors may allow a minimal number of parish staff members (fewer than 10) to continue working in the office provided that social distancing is observed. For example, while the office is closed to the public, staff members can still answer phones, answer emails and process payroll. If these functions can be performed remotely from home, this would be preferred.
- Pastors are asked to be vigilant in reminding parishioners and staff members to stay home if they are sick, especially if they have a fever or cough. Frequent cleaning and sanitizing of premises is advised.
- Parishes with bells are asked to ring them at noon and 6 p.m. as a sign of solidarity and hope, and to ensure the faithful that the church is present even if it has adapted the way parishes operate in these times.
City News Service contributed to this report.