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The Church and Coronavirus: A Timeline of News Releases and Media Coverage

by | Jun. 08, 2020

Updated: June 30, 2020 at 3:15 p.m. MDT

This is a reverse-chronological timeline of news releases from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and media coverage in relation to COVID-19, also known as coronavirus. This story will be frequently updated and can be accessed at ldsliving.com/coronavirus.

Find the latest information on Church Newsroom, or find LDS Living's timeline summary below.

June 29, 2020

June 22, 2020

June 15, 2020

June 12, 2020

  • • Church Distribution retail stores and Deseret Book stores begin reopening in four phases: appointment only, curbside services available, limited hours (no appointment required), and normal hours. See a status list for each store.

June 8, 2020

June 4, 2020

June 2, 2020

June 1, 2020

May 25, 2020

May 20, 2020

May 19, 2020

May 18, 2020

May 11, 2020

  • • The number of temples in the first phase of reopening grows from 17 to 34. Included on the list are the Taipei Taiwan Temple and the Seoul Korea Temple, which became the first temples to close due to COVID-19 on February 21, 2020. 

May 8, 2020

May 7, 2020

May 6, 2020

  • • In a video message, President Nelson encourages caution as the Church looks forward amid COVID-19. 

April 30, 2020

April 29, 2020

April 27, 2020

  • •  The 2020 Heritage Tour by The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, originally scheduled for June 25-July 16, 2020, is postponed until 2021.

April 17, 2020

April 14, 2020

April 13, 2020

April 10, 2020

  • • The launch of new temple ceremonial clothing, which was originally scheduled for March 31, 2020, is delayed due to the pandemic. The Church will make the new ceremonial clothing available through the online store and retail outlets at a later date.

April 4, 2020

  • • During the Saturday evening session of general conference, President Nelson calls for a second worldwide fast on Good Friday, April 10.

April 2, 2020

April 1, 2020

March 31, 2020

March 30, 2020

March 27, 2020

March 26, 2020

March 25, 2020

March 24, 2020

March 23, 2020

  • • Missionaries in the following locations are in the process of returning to their home nations: all Church areas except Europe and Europe East and the following countries: Australia, Dominican Republic, New Zealand, and Taiwan.

  • • The Church announces early releases for many American and Canadian missionaries.

  • • The number of fully closed operating temples grows to 104.
  •  
  • • The Salt Lake Airport issues new guidelines for picking up missionaries.
  •  
  • • The Church updates the list of closed distribution retail stores.  
  •  
  •  Deseret News reports the first Utahn to die from COVID-19 attended the Bountiful Utah Temple last week. Davis County Health Department tells Deseret News it does not consider anyone who was with him at the temple to be at risk. 
  •  
  • • Church spokeswoman Irene Caso issues a statement about the Oqurrih Mountain Utah Temple: "Due to a potential COVID-19 exposure, the Oquirrh Mountain Temple, which has been closed for maintenance, will remain closed for an additional week for evaluation."

March 22, 2020

March 20, 2020

March 19, 2020

March 18, 2020

March 17, 2020

March 16, 2020

► Related content: How 1 Latter-day Saint Couple Who Tested Positive with Coronavirus Maintained a Positive Perspective during Quarantine

March 14, 2020

March 13, 2020

► Related content: Can Faith and Fear Coexist? A Simple Reminder in the Face of Coronavirus

March 12, 2020

► Related content: Ready or Not, Here Comes Home-centered Church! 9 Resources to Help You Teach Your Family

March 11, 2020

  • • The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles releases three letters announcing

    • • 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

    • • Beginning March 16, 2020, all missionaries scheduled to enter missionary training centers in Provo, Utah, or Preston, England, will be trained remotely by video conference
      • Deseret News reports on how the Provo Missionary Training Center is transitioning to the adjustment. 
      • Church News speaks with the president of the England Missionary Training Center. 

    • • Beginning March 16, 2020, large gatherings will be postponed in Asia, Asia North, Europe, Europe East, the United States, and Canada Areas

  • • The Church Educational System announces there will be no gathering for large events such as commencements, convocations, devotionals, conferences, public lectures, performances, and concerts. 
    • Deseret News reports on how the different CES institutions are responding to the announcement. 

  • BYU Women's Conference announces that the 2020 conference will not be held on campus.

  • • The number of fully closed operating temples grows to 13. 

  •  Church Newsroom United Kingdom publishes an article about Italian members' spiritual experiences despite not having face-to-face gatherings.

March 10, 2020

March 9, 2020

  •  Deseret News reports Area Seventy Elder Alessandro Dini-Ciacci invited "every member of the church in Italy who is physically able to do it and anyone who lives in Italy or loves Italy, whatever their religious belief or political affiliation" to fast for Italy as COVID-19 spread in the northern part of the country.

  •  BYU announces that a Utah resident with COVID-19 attended a BYU basketball game last month, also reported on by Deseret News.

  •  Deseret News reports that faculty at the BYU Jerusalem Center were quarantined after visiting a region where tourists had COVID-19.

March 8, 2020

March 7, 2020

  •  BBC News reports that a Latter-day Saint attended a Sunday worship service in England prior to showing symptoms of COVID-19. The Church building has now closed.

March 6, 2020

March 5, 2020

March 3, 2020

  • • The Church encourages eight tips to stay healthy, based on recommendations from the World Health Organization and United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

March 2, 2020

  • • Deseret News reports on how congregations in Italy, Mongolia, and Japan were adjusting their worship services.

February 28, 2020

  • Church Newsroom Hong Kong reports on how Latter-day Saints are finding opportunities for spiritual self-reliance and ministry despite the spread of coronavirus.

February 27, 2020

  • Leadership sessions for General Authorities, Area Seventies, and General Officers normally held in conjunction with April general conference are postponed to October.

  • • Members living outside of the United States are discouraged from traveling to the United States to attend general conference sessions. 

  • • The number of fully closed operating temples grows to 4. 

  • • Adjustments are made to the following nine missions
    • • Japan Fukuoka Mission
    • • Japan Kobe Mission
    • • Japan Nagoya Mission
    • • Japan Sapporo Mission
    • • Japan Tokyo North Mission
    • • Japan Tokyo South Mission
    • • Korea Busan Mission
    • • Korea Seoul Mission
    • • Korea Seoul South Mission

  • • Under the direction of Area Presidencies, some regions limit or temporarily suspended member gatherings, including Sunday worship. These locations include:
    • • Hong Kong
    • • Mongolia
    • • Korea
    • • Japan

February 21, 2020

  • • The Taipei Taiwan and the Seoul Korea Temples become the first temples to close due to coronavirus.

  • • Adjustments are announced to the following four missions, bringing the total number of affected missions to five:
    • • Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission
    • • Singapore Mission
    • • Thailand Bangkok Mission
    • • Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission
    • • Previously adjusted: Hong Kong China Mission

February 4, 2020

January 30, 2020

January 29, 2020

Lead image: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

 

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Lindsey Williams

Lindsey Williams joined the LDS Living team with a passion to find the stories that matter most. Previous stops in her career include BYU-Pathway Worldwide, the Special Projects Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Utah Valley Magazine. When she's not searching for stories to write, the Colorado Springs native is most likely on a hiking trail. 

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