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Updates on How COVID-19 Is Impacting Saints Worldwide

Church continues to closely monitor developments

This article is frequently updated with new information. Note time stamps for most recent additions.

This page provides updates on how COVID-19 (coronavirus) is impacting The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its global membership. The Church is monitoring developments and taking steps to comply with best practices and direction provided by public health organizations of various national governments.

                                                  

See how COVID-19 is impacting Saints worldwide. Click the links below to read the latest. Also see updates in other languages.

Church Aid (Updated February 4)

Since its initial donation of medical masks, goggles and gowns to China, the Church has received numerous requests for similar assistance. Those requests are being evaluated and addressed as the Church is able to do so, although our ability to supply and deliver those products is limited by a global demand for such resources.

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Church Distribution Retail Stores (Updated April at 8 a.m. MDT)

Most Church Distribution retail stores are closed. The following Distribution retail and Deseret Book stores remain open where local governments are not requiring COVID-19 restrictions.

Distribution retail stores that are open with limited hours (unless otherwise noted):

  • Brigham City, Utah
  • Centerville, Utah
  • Cotonou, Benin
  • Hong Kong (regular hours)
  • Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Liberia
  • Lome, Togo
  • Manti, Utah
  • Pago Pago, American Samoa (regular hours)
  • Praia, Cape Verde
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Sierra Leone
  • Taipei, Taiwan (regular hours)

Deseret Book stores that are open:

  • American Fork, Utah
  • Ammon, Idaho (curbside service only)
  • Boise, Idaho (curbside service only)
  • Bountiful, Utah
  • Cedar City, Utah
  • Clinton, Utah
  • Costa Mesa, California (curbside service only)
  • Draper, Utah
  • Fort Union, Utah
  • Idaho Falls, Idaho (curbside service only)
  • Jordan Landing, Utah
  • Lake Oswego, Oregon
  • Las Vegas, Nevada (curbside service only)
  • Layton, Utah
  • Logan, Utah
  • Ogden, Utah
  • Orem Parkway, Utah
  • Pocatello, Idaho (curbside service only)
  • Rexburg, Idaho (curbside service only)
  • Riverton, Utah
  • Spanish Fork, Utah (curbside service only)
  • St. George, Utah
  • Sugarhouse, Utah
  • Twin Falls, Idaho (curbside service only)
  • University Village, Utah
  • Valley Fair, Utah

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CES Guidelines (Updated March 12)

The leadership of the Church Educational System has adopted temporary guidelines which will be effective March 16, 2020.

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Church Historic Sites (Updated March 16)

All Church historic sites are closed. This includes the following locations:

  • Cove Fort Historic Site
  • Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial
  • Kanesville Tabernacle
  • Kirtland historic sites
  • Missouri historic sites
  • Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters
  • Nauvoo historic site and Carthage Jail
  • New York historic sites
  • Pennsylvania historic sites
  • San Diego Mormon Battalion Historic Site
  • St. George area historic sites
  • Mormon Handcart Historic Site in Wyoming

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Church Workforce (Updated March 16)

Employees of the Church should follow the guidelines provided here and any other direction provided by their area presidency.

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General Conference (Updated March 19)

In a letter March 19 to Latter-day Saints around the globe, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles announced additional updates to the April 2020 general conference. Each session will be broadcast from a small auditorium on Temple Square. The First Presidency will preside and conduct those sessions, and only those who have been invited to speak or pray will attend. The music for the conference has been pre-recorded. Read the complete letter.

In a letter sent to members on March 11, Church leaders announced a significant change to the format of the April 2020 general conference. Sessions will be done virtually. Members will not gather at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City or at stake centers or meetinghouses in areas where COVID-19 is active.

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Missionary Work (Updated March 31 at 5:30 p.m. MDT)

In a letter sent March 31, 2020, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles outlined additional temporary adjustments to missionary service. New service options are available for current and prospective missionaries. See the letter and an accompanying table of adjustments.

Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff sent the following statement to media on Monday morning, March 30, 2020:

As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses throughout the world, we recognize that additional missionaries will unfortunately contract the virus. A second case has been confirmed for a sister missionary in Australia who has been in self-isolation at home. We are concerned about any missionary who contracts the virus and will work to help them receive appropriate care. Gratefully, young missionaries are not generally considered to be at high risk of complications from the illness.

The possible time between exposure to the virus and showing symptoms makes it difficult to determine the exact source of exposure. This same difficulty is faced by people and public health professionals everywhere. However, in each case, we will follow established guidelines from public health agencies to notify anyone with whom the missionary might have come in contact and continue to encourage missionaries and those they live with to undergo strict self-isolation.

As we move forward, the Church will not provide public details about each individual case of COVID-19, but instead will rely on public health agencies and individuals to make the required notifications. We continue to pray for all people affected by this pandemic, and we plead with the Lord to provide relief and peace at this uncertain time.

Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff issued the following statement Friday evening, March 27, 2020:

Today, we learned that a young missionary serving in Mexico City has tested positive for COVID-19. The young man, who is from Guatemala, is being treated for his mild symptoms. He and his current companion are isolated away from others.

In accordance with established guidelines from public health agencies, notification is taking place for all those with whom the missionary had recent contact. This includes a previous companion who returned to California two days ago and is in self-isolation at home. At this point, that missionary is not showing any symptoms. Medical professionals are working with the missionary and his family to ensure they take all necessary precautions during the next few weeks.

The Church will continue to reinforce established self-isolation procedures for missionaries who are traveling, at home and in the field. We are monitoring rapidly changing world conditions and are making adjustments as warranted. We take very seriously the health and safety of missionaries and the well-being of those around them.

Missionaries are in the process of returning to their home nations. This applies to all areas except Europe and Europe East and Taiwan. In addition, U.S. citizens serving in Canada will remain in Canada, and Canadians serving in the U.S. will remain in the U.S.

(See a letter from the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for more information.)

Elders serving in the U.S. and Canada

Released at 21 months

Missionaries returning home for health reasons (all missions)

Released and 14-day self-isolation

Elders returning to the U.S. and Canada who have fewer than 180 days (six months) remaining

Released and 14-day self-isolation

Elders returning to the U.S. and Canada who have more than 180 days (six months) remaining

Remain a missionary, 14-day self-isolation, and then temporarily reassigned

Sisters returning to the U.S. and Canada who have fewer than 90 days (three months) remaining

Released and 14-day self-isolation

Sisters returning to the U.S. and Canada who have more than 90 days (three months) remaining

Remain a missionary, 14-day self-isolation, and then temporarily reassigned

Missionaries returning to their home country in Africa

Go directly to their assigned mission

Missionaries returning to all other home countries

Remain a missionary, 14-day self-isolation, and then temporarily reassigned

Missionaries unable to return to their home country (travel restrictions, etc.)

Remain in original mission or temporarily reassigned, as necessary

All other missionaries

Complete their mission as scheduled

Young missionaries with health issues and senior missionaries in the following areas are in the process of being released from service:

  • 88 missions throughout North America (as of March 21)
  • 10 missions in the Europe East Area (as of March 21)
  • 22 missions in the Europe Area (as of March 12)

Each missionary who returns home is asked to self-isolate for 14 days following instructions from the World Health Organization and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

All missionaries at the Church's 10 MTCs worldwide are in the process of traveling to their missions or returning home to self-isolate. All impacted missionaries and their families are receiving information regarding travel dates and other logistics, including details of their new assignments if they were originally planning to serve outside their home country. All missionaries scheduled to begin their training will be trained remotely through technology.

Prospective missionaries who are preparing to serve in certain countries or who come from those countries will either postpone their start date or receive a new temporary assignment. This update applies to the following locations:

  • Japan (as of February 25)
  • Korea (as of February 25)
  • Cambodia (as of February 20)
  • Singapore (as of February 20)
  • Thailand (as of February 20)

All missionaries have been removed from the China Hong Kong Mission.

Missionaries who remain in regions where COVID-19 is of particular concern are taking precautions to stay healthy, including staying in their apartments as much as possible, avoiding personal interaction with other people and teaching through phone calls or other technology. Mission presidents are communicating with families to let them know of these precautions and keep them updated on local circumstances.

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Preventative Measures for Members

For all Church members, there is wisdom in taking steps to remain healthy during this cold and flu season. These precautions include*:

  • Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water or clean them with an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick (this may include avoiding shaking hands or other customary greetings).
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Maintain at least six feet (two meters) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow public health agency recommendations for using a face mask.

*Based on recommendations from the World Health Organization and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Local leaders should encourage members to follow these guidelines.

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RootsTech London (Updated March 13)

FamilySearch International announced that the RootsTech conference planned for London in November 2020 will be postponed until autumn 2021. Read more.

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Sacrament Meetings, Stake Conferences and Other Large Gatherings (Updated March 12)

The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent a letter Wednesday, March 11, 2020, to Latter-day Saints everywhere. Their message details a notable restriction on large gatherings of Latter-day Saints. Beginning March 16, 2020, large gatherings will be postponed in Asia, Asia North, Europe, Europe East, the United States and Canada Areas.

Church leaders also sent a letter to Saints on March 12 that says worship services worldwide are temporarily suspended. Local leaders will counsel to determine how to make the sacrament available to members at least once a month.

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Temple Square (Updated March 14)

All public areas of the following Church-owned buildings in and around Temple Square closed, effective 5:00 p.m. MDT on Friday March 13. The closures will remain in effect until further notice.

  • Conference Center
  • Assembly Hall
  • Tabernacle
  • North Visitors’ Center
  • Family History Library
  • Church History Museum
  • Relief Society Building
  • Church Office Building
  • Beehive House
  • Church History Library
  • Joseph Smith Memorial Building (including restaurants)
  • Lion House

The construction work on the Salt Lake Temple will continue as planned. At Welfare Square, operations will remain open, but public tours are temporarily discontinued going forward.

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Temple Worship (Updated March 25 at 7 p.m. MDT)

In a letter issued March 25, 2020, the First Presidency announced it will temporarily close all temples. Temple staff will contact all patrons with an existing appointment to confirm cancellation. When temples resume activity, patrons should contact the temple to reschedule their living ordinances. Members with additional questions are invited to visit with their bishop or stake president.

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The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square (Updated March 13)

Consistent with the direction provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to temporarily postpone large public gatherings in areas challenged by the COVID-19 virus, the Choir organization has cancelled several concerts and made changes to its public broadcasts and rehearsals. See this page for details.

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Welfare and Self-Reliance Operations (Updated March 17)

Deseret Industries

Deseret Industries stores are adjusting their services to support community health. Beginning Wednesday, March 18, stores will be closed to the general public for shopping and donations but will remain open to support the needs of individuals served by bishops’ orders and community partner grants. Stores will be open Tuesday, March 17, until 6:00 p.m. MDT. 

Employees of Deseret Industries who are in low-risk demographics may be transferred to support the work of bishops’ storehouses and food processing operations to backfill any staff or volunteers from those facilities who are in a higher risk category and, out of an abundance of caution, remain at home. These closures and transfers are temporary. Updated information will be provided as this situation evolves.

Additional Resources

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