CHICAGO (CBS)– The Archdiocese of Chicago announced the closure of all Catholic schools due to the threat of coronavirus.
In addition to closing schools, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich announced the suspension of Mass starting Saturday evening. Churches will remain open for private prayer, and churches capable of broadcasting their Masses on television or online are encouraged to do so.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Shower Chance By Daybreak
The schools will be closed starting March 16 and it has not yet been determined how long the closure will last.
“This decision applies to all Catholic schools in Cook and Lake Counties operated by the Archdiocese of Chicago,” the superintendent of Catholic Schools said in a written statement. “Catholic schools not operated by the archdiocese, such as those governed by religious orders, will make decisions individually.”READ MORE: Postal Worker Tells CBS 2 Staffing Issues Due To Federal Leave, Prioritization Of Package Delivery Are In Part To Blame For Persistent Mail Problems
While public Mass will be suspended starting Saturday, weddings and funerals scheduled for that day may proceed, but with no more than 250 people attending.
Staff at the Archdiocese Pastoral Center and at schools are being told to work from home. Staffing at individual parishes will be up to the pastor.MORE NEWS: Shock And Outrage In Humboldt Park At Death Of Young Parents Yasmin Perez, Gyovanny Arzuaga In Shooting Called 'Execution-Style'
An announcement will be made when a date for schools to reopen is determined.