SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News)- The Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City has suspended public gatherings including worship services and Holy masses.

The mandate begins March 14th and will run through the 31st, or until further announcements.

Bishop Oscar A. Solis is asking Catholics to pray at home with the rosary, biblical prayer, personal devotions and/or to devoutly watch televised Masses.

The closures include school meetings, weddings, funerals, and other gatherings.

“In view of the very serious development of the growing, unpredictable and uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus and with an abundance of caution, it is critical to have clearly defined measures to guide us in facing this pandemic and protecting everyone,” Bishop Oscar Solis stated. 

“It is no longer about containment of the spread of the disease but preventing the loss of lives and the greater well-being of the faithful.”

The Church recommends the following practices:

  1. Avoid public gatherings, events and socializing: big crowds or socializing and physical contact especially if you are sick with a cold, sneezing, coughing and fever;
  2. Wash hands frequently with soap and water or sanitizer;
  3. Stay home when sick or not feeling well so as not to infect others;
  4. Tune in to the federal and state government websites for news updates and advisories;
  5.  Follow government advisory or instructions for guidance. Know who to call and how to report your case in order to seek doctor’s help;
  6. Be conscious of the symptoms of the coronavirus: fever, cough and shortness of breath
  7. If you have novel coronavirus symptoms, make a simple call to your clinician or public health department to ask about your symptoms. Always use Telehealth First!
  8. Visit the website or call the Utah COVID-19 information line to answer your questions: 1-800-456-7707. Most likely you will be told to stay home, self-isolate and recover as you would with a flu.
  9. If you have serious symptoms of COVID-19, do not arrive at a doctor’s office, emergency room, or urgent care facility without calling ahead. You could potentially infect everyone in the office. Follow their instructions.
  10. Preparation is helpful. Make sure you have a little extra food and medications in case you have to stay home for a couple weeks. If possible, get a plan with your family and any groups that you lead in case we have school/work closures.       

For more from the Catholic Diocese click here.

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