LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Archdiocese of Los Angeles announced Wednesday that it has closed its hundreds of Catholic churches across Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties to the public amid the coronavirus epidemic.
The Archdiocese said that all “churches, chapels, centers, and missions” are closed to the public through at least April 19. The Archdiocese last week had already suspended all public Mass services.
“Our community of faith is fully committed to doing all we can to limit the spread of this global public health threat,” said Archbishop José H. Gomez in a statement. “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.”
Church priests can livestream their masses privately during this time. The Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels in downtown L.A. will continue livestreaming non-public masses daily on the Archdiocese Facebook page.
All churches are being asked to ring their bells at noon and 6 p.m. in a “sign of solidarity and hope,” Gomez added.
Pastors will be allowed less than 10 staff members to continue working in church offices as long as they engage in social distancing.