Archbishop William E. Lori issued the following statement following the March 12 press conference of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, during which the governor addressed major steps being taken after the state confirmed its first case of community transmitted coronavirus:
“In light of the order today by Gov. Hogan that all public schools be closed for the next two weeks, I have similarly instructed that all archdiocesan schools be closed during the same time period, March 16-27, 2020 and that all school-sponsored activities be cancelled during that same timeframe,” the archbishop said. “In addition, I have instructed all parishes of the Archdiocese of Baltimore to comply with the governor’s order by limiting attendance at all Masses and parish-sponsored events, regardless of location, to no more than 250 people until further notice.”
Earlier today, Archbishop Lori created a task force to guide all archdiocesan decisions related to the COVID-19 virus, to be led by Auxiliary Bishop Adam J. Parker, and distributed detailed guidance to all parishes on liturgical safeguards, parish events and meetings, travel and other related concerns. In addition, archdiocesan schools have been making preparations for the offering of distance learning and out-of-school instruction.
March 13 Update: Though Masses will continue to be offered in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, all members of the faithful are dispensed of the Sunday Mass obligation until further notice. Those who are ill or suspect they may have a contagious illness should refrain from attending Mass.
For more on the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s response to the coronavirus threat and for resources, visit www.archbalt.org/coronavirus.