DENVER — Catholic masses have been canceled and multiple mosques have been closed in the wake of guidance of Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) for people to avoid large public gatherings to quell the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19.
The governor recommended that gatherings involving groups of 250 people or more be postponed until further notice. This has prompted the city of Denver to close all of its city-owned venues – including the Colorado Convention Center and Red Rocks – and the cancellation of numerous concerts and other events.
Religious organizations are now also following suit.
The Archdiocese of Denver announced Friday that the bishops of Colorado’s three dioceses have announced all of the state’s Catholic churches will not celebrate masses until further notice.
>>> Watch the video above for a look at how social distancing can impact the spread of the new coronavirus
“In a time like this when Mass is unavailable, the Catholic faithful are dispensed from their Sunday Mass obligation,” a news release reads.
Health officials have said that COVID-19 is especially dangerous for members of the community who are over 60, and have recommended that people practice “social distancing” as a way to prevent the spread of the virus from overwhelming hospitals and doctors.
In its news release, the Archdiocese said parish offices will remain open, but events will be canceled. Opportunities for private prayer will be available in churches, and weddings and funerals will be allowed to go on, albeit with smaller crowds.
Colorado’s Muslim community is also limiting gatherings due to COVID-19.
In a news release, the Colorado Muslim Council said multiple area mosques will close due to COVID-19. The closures were:
- Crescent View Academy (CVA)
- Southeast Aurora Islamic Center
- Tawheed Center (along with other programming)
- Colorado Oromo Muslim Community Center (Masjid Bilal)
Colorado Muslim Society (Masjid Abu Bakr; closed until further notice)
- Masjid Khadeejah - Mile High Islamic Center (closed for the next 5 weeks)
- Northeast Denver Islamic Center (Ndic - Masjid Taqwa)
- AlMustafa Denver (along with other programming)
- Lady Fatima Center (along with other programming)
The Church of Latter Day Saints has also suspended gatherings worldwide.
These aren't the only faiths that have canceled services. There have been countless church closures across the Denver metro area.
Flatirons Community Church in Broomfield announced it would close until at least March 18. Other smaller congregations also announced closures -- a volume that's difficult to include here.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: COVID-19 Coronavirus