The Archdiocese of Miami has announced that, effective today, all masses are suspended "until further notice" because of the ongoing threat of coronavirus.
The suspension includes most church events, including Bible studies and prayer groups.
The archdiocese says funerals, christenings, and weddings must now be limited to immediate family members who are not sick. Those in attendance will be asked to practice "appropriate social distancing."
While church services have been paused, priests and other parish staff will be available to minister to churchgoers. They are being asked to exercise "prudence" and observe social distancing. Priests and church staff will also be available by phone and email, the archdiocese says.
Miami-area priests will continue to pay visits to local hospitals, although they have been instructed to wear masks, gloves, and other protective gear as directed by medical professionals.
Individual churches within the diocese are being encouraged to live-stream services and publish updates online for congregants.
"These efforts will enable the faithful to continue to remain close to the Lord and the Church in this challenging time, while protecting one another and the community against COVID-19," Archbishop Thomas Wenski said in a press release.
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