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More Missionaries Quarantined, Temple Closures Announced Due To Coronavirus

Thai officials administer face-masks at a handout station in the Chatuchak weekend market on February 8, 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand. As Thailand confirms its 32nd case of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and face mask supplies dwindle in stores, Thailand's Ministry of Defence assigned the Army's Medical Department, Phramongkutklao Hospital and the Royal Thai Army Nursing College to send officials to distribute masks to people in crowded tourist areas of Bangkok which are deemed most at risk for spread of the virus. (Photo by Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images)

Due to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, more missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be quarantined and two temples in Asia have been temporarily closed. 

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Two temples have been temporarily closed and additional missionaries serving in Asia have been quarantined due to concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a statement released Friday, officials with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the Taipei Taiwan Temple has been temporarily closed and the Seoul Korea Temple will temporarily close beginning Saturday.

All missionaries serving in the Cambodia Phnom Penh, Singapore and Thailand Bangkok missions have been instructed to remain in their apartments except to buy food and supplies, exercise or attend worship services. Missionaries in the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission were taking similar precautions but were continuing to make limited visits to people when invited.

Missionaries still making contact in those areas have been urged to stay at least six feet away from others, and to avoid personal interaction while outside until further notice. They will use phone calls or other technology to teach people for the time being.

Officials also said missionaries throughout South Korea will begin to self-isolate using recommendations from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Missionaries who were quarantined in the China Hong Kong Mission are finishing their two-week self-isolation and preparing to depart for their new, temporary assignments.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to closely monitor the spread of the coronavirus and its impact on people around the world, including the ability of our missionaries to effectively find and teach, and of our members to gather for worship,” officials said in the statement. “We pray for all those affected by this illness and plead for the Lord’s blessings during this difficult time.”

Members of the Church in some parts of the world were not gathering for weekly worship services, and other services were being held on a limited schedule, officials said.

Local leaders were working to support and minister to the needs of members in these areas. Church officials said they are monitoring the situation and will make further adjustments as needed.

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