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Church announces more temple closures, guidelines for large gatherings at BYU, BYU-Idaho, BYU-Hawaii, LDSBC

Following the changes to general conference, missionary training and stake conferences, the Church has announced more temple closures and guidelines for large events at Church-owned college campuses, due to ongoing concerns related to the COVID-19 virus

Devotionals, performances, concerts, public lectures and graduations at Brigham Young University, BYU-Idaho, BYU-Hawaii and LDS Business College may be cancelled, streamed, or recorded and posted later, according to the statement on Church Educational System guidelines. Each school’s leadership will make those decisions. 

On Thursday afternoon, BYU released additional information on its website for faculty and students. Classes on March 13, 16 and 17 are canceled and will resume on March 18 through remote instruction. All BYU athletic and arts events will be suspended.

As a result of the CES guidelines, BYU Women’s Conference will not be held on the BYU campus April 30-May 1, according to its Facebook page. Tickets will be refunded and the conference is currently looking into streaming options.

Read more about how COVID-19 is impacting Church members in Utah

In addition to the closure of the Asunción Paraguay Temple announced yesterday, five other temples will be closed: the Boston Massachusetts Temple, Copenhagen Denmark Temple, Louisville Kentucky Temple, Manhattan New York Temple and the Lisbon Portugal Temple. There are a total of 13 temples now closed worldwide in response to the virus. 

BYU-Pathway Worldwide gatherings will follow guidelines provided by the Area Presidency and employ virtual gathering where necessary. Church primary and secondary schools will also follow the guidelines provided by the Area Presidency.

“CES is deeply interested in the health, education and spiritual growth of each of these students and those who serve them,” the statement said. “Concerns related to COVID-19 have impacted every part of society, including education.” 

President M. Russell Ballard speaks during the BYU campus devotional in the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah, on March 3, 2020.

President M. Russell Ballard speaks during the BYU campus devotional in the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah, on March 3, 2020.

Credit: Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo

Daily seminary and stake institute programs are instructed to follow the gathering decisions of local congregations. Release-time seminary and campus institutes will follow local high schools or college campuses. Area Presidency guidelines will determine whether or not students gather for local devotionals and graduations.

“The Church will continue to monitor these evolving circumstances and make adjustments as necessary,” the statement said. 

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