NEW ORLEANS — Catholics attending mass within the Archdiocese of New Orleans will not be obligated to attend on Sundays during the coronavirus outbreak.
According to a statement from Archbishop Gregory Aymond, Catholics will not be obligated to attend Mass on Sundays for the next 30 days. However, mass will still be held.
"I highly encourage those who are elderly, sick, experiencing symptoms of illness, or who are at high risk of illness to not attend Mass these weekends," Aymond said. "The virus has been contracted with serious issues by those 60 and older. Those in that age group must take seriously the caution to implement 'social distancing.'"
Aymond noted that if you cannot or choose not to attend Mass can watch the 11 a.m. Sunday Mass from St. Louis Cathedral live on WLAE-TV and on the Archdiocese Facebook page.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed a proclamation Friday that immediately halts all public gatherings of more than 250 people due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The governor's proclamation also closes all K-12 public schools across the state starting Monday, March 16, until Monday, April 13. The Archdiocese of New Orleans ended school for the same amount of time.
The Louisiana Department of Health announced Friday that the number of presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, the potentially deadly respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, had jumped to 33.
No deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in Louisiana at this time.