Churches in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will be closed to the public until at least April 19 as part of updated guidelines aimed at helping stem the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

The “extraordinary steps” announced by Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez late Tuesday also include closing parish offices to the public and suspending regular confession times.

“Our community of faith is fully committed to doing all we can to limit the spread of this global public health threat,” said the archbishop in a statement March 24. “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.”

The updated guidelines also call for every parish in the archdiocese to ring their bells at 12 and 6 p.m. daily “as a sign of solidarity and hope.”

“Now more than ever, we must continue to anchor our hearts and minds in the abiding truth of God’s love for us, His sons and daughters,” the archbishop said. “We remain strong in faith knowing that God will be with us always.”

The guidelines allow for priests to perform the sacraments of confession, anointing of the sick, and baptism in cases of emergency, provided they follow proper sanitary protocols.

Archbishop Gomez repeated his call encouraging LA Catholics to “join in communion” for the celebration of Mass remotely via internet livestream, television, or radio following the suspension of public Masses announced March 16….

The above comes from a March 24 story in Angelus News.