Thursday, March 12, 2020

Washington, Virginia dioceses cancel worship at all churches, including National Cathedral, over outbreak

From Washington D.C.-

The dioceses of Washington and Virginia announced March 11 that they are closing or canceling services at more than 250 churches in the nation’s capital and suburban Virginia and Maryland, including Washington National Cathedral, for at least two weeks, as a sweeping precaution to help stem the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, which earlier in the day was declared a global pandemic.

Washington Bishop Mariann Budde explained her decision in a letter to the diocese, first reported by The Washington Post. The “health, safety and well-being of our people” is her first concern, she said, and congregations will be encouraged to explore online worship alternatives.

“Two things are now clear: Social distance is needed to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, and the populations most at risk are highly represented among our congregations and clergy,” Budde’s letter says. All 88 congregations in her diocese will close effective March 12, and she hopes they will resume worship services by March 29.

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