TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Catholic churches in Tucson are closing for one month in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Diocese of Tucson announced Monday.
The churches will be closed for all indoor masses from Jan. 8 until Feb. 5. In some circumstances, pastors will be permitted to seek permission to celebrate some indoor masses, the statement from the Diocese said.
Funerals and weddings can be celebrated indoors but will be limited to 25 people, while baptisms are limited to 10 people.
"A period of four weeks should make a considerable difference in the availability of the Covid vaccine for those most at risk," Bishop Edward Weisenburger of the Diocese of Tucson said in a news release. "Hopefully it also will help us to evaluate more accurately the anticipated post-Christmas spike in infections and resulting hospitalizations."
The Diocese is encouraging pastors to celebrate masses via the internet and offering communion outdoors.
Parish offices will also be closed to the public during the four-week period.