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General Conference Leadership Sessions Postponed Amid COVID-19 Virus

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, church leaders and the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, gather for the first session of the 189th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center on April 6, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Several thousands of faithful Mormons from around the worlds will gather for two days of instruction from church leaders. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – All leadership sessions for the April 2020 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been postponed amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus. 

The move was made “out of an abundance of caution.” The conference sessions held every six months bring several people from around the world to Salt Lake City.

In a press release issued Thursday afternoon, the First Presidency of the Church said the April 2-3 leadership meetings normally held in conjunction with the conference would be delayed until October.

“Out of an abundance of caution and with deep concern for global health considerations, as well as sympathy for all who have been or may be affected by the COVID-19 virus, we are postponing leadership meetings associated with the upcoming general conference,” said the First Presidency in a statement. “We wish to be good global citizens and do what we can to limit the spread of this disease. We also want to relieve concerns of our leaders, members, and their families related to the uncertainties of travel at this time.”

The announcement did not apply to the five general sessions on Saturday and Sunday, which were still scheduled for April – including a special session Saturday night commemorating the 200th anniversary of the First Vision.

“General Authorities serving outside of the United States and all Area Seventies are excused from attending the general conference in Salt Lake City,” the release said.

Church members living outside the United States have also been discouraged from traveling to the April conference.

The statement continued, “We are grateful that all members who do not travel to Salt Lake City will be able to view the proceedings of April general conference through technology. With great compassion, we pray for all whose lives have been affected by this illness.”

Coronavirus Resources

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How do I prevent it?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water is not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

The CDC does not recommend wearing a facemask respirator to protect yourself from coronavirus unless a healthcare professional recommends it.

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