Below are the latest updates from the Diocese of Allentown on coronavirus, including impacts on schools in Lehigh and Northampton counties, Mass, and information on parish social gatherings.
Schools: Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced that all K-12 schools in the state will be closed for 10 days beginning Monday, March 16. The governor will decide at the end of the 10-day period whether it will be extended.
During the closing, schools will be cleaned and aired out. Because this is an evolving situation, the Diocese will continue to monitor the situation and provide more information as it becomes available.
While one student was reported to have flu-like symptoms at Notre Dame High School, Easton, the student tested negative for COVID-19. There are no known confirmed cases of coronavirus at any schools at this time.
Masses: Bishop Alfred Schlert has cancelled all public Masses. You may watch a live Mass from his private chapel everyday by going to this page.
Parish social gatherings: Most of these are cancelled or postponed, but check with your local parish if you have a question. White House guidelines ask that individuals and groups cancel any gatherings planned over the next eight weeks.
Holy Family Manor, Bethlehem: As other nursing homes have done, Holy Family Senior Living has decided to close its residential facilities to visitors until further notice. There are no cases of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, at these facilities at this time.
Security workshop postponed: The Church Security Workshop at St. Mary’s in Hamburg has been rescheduled for Saturday, April 25.
ChristLife Regional Training Conference scheduled for March 27-28 at St. Mary Parish in Hamburg has been postponed. This event will be rescheduled. Details forthcoming.
State CYO Boys Basketball Tournament, scheduled for March 13-15 at Berks Catholic High School is on hold. The State Board is evaluating whether the event will be rescheduled. A decision is expected in 2 weeks.
CYO Spring Sports including Track and Field, Soccer, Baseball, and Softball, are cancelled for the month of March. An evaluation will be made in the coming weeks regarding whether spring sports will resume in April.
CYO Coaches Clinic scheduled for March 28 at St. Anne Parish in Bethlehem, PA. This event has been cancelled.
Women’s Day of Reflection scheduled for March 14 at St. Therese Shrine in Nesquehoning has been cancelled. This event is not being rescheduled.
All Diocesan Marriage Preparation Classes – the requirement to attend a class is temporarily lifted. Engaged couples should contact their pastor for preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage. You must still register for FOCUS. Read more here.
Youth Ministry Meetings and Events at parishes: Most of these have been postponed or cancelled.
The Day of Healing at the Cathedral of St. Catherine of Siena scheduled for March 21 is being postponed.
The Catholic Scout Activity Weekend planned for April 17-19 has been cancelled for this year. Scouts working on their Ad Altare Dei or Pope Pius XII religious awards should contact their counselor for information about completing the requirement for attending a retreat and for holding the required Board of Review. The Allentown Diocese Catholic Committee on Scouting is working on developing plans to allow these Scouts to complete and receive their awards. For more information please email the chairman, Fred Flemming, at email@example.com.