According to an updated news release from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the coronavirus continues to impact both missionaries and members of the faith in Asia.
Two temples, the Taipei Taiwan Temple and Seoul Korea Temple, are closing temporarily. In some areas of the world, members have been instructed not to gather for weekly Sabbath day meetings or to meet on a shorter schedule. All missionaries in the following missions have been instructed not to leave their apartments except to purchase food and supplies or attend worship services:
- Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission
- Singapore Mission
- Thailand Bangkok Mission
In the meantime, the missionaries will teach and minister through digital technology. All missionaries who were to enter these missions have been temporarily reassigned.
In Mongolia and Korea, missionaries are taking similar precautions but are still able to visit others on a limited basis.
You can read the full statement provided by the Church below.
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. We pray for all those affected by this illness and plead for the Lord’s blessings during this difficult time.
As an update, missionaries who recently left the China Hong Kong Mission are completing their 14-day self-isolation and are preparing to depart for their new, temporary assignments.
We continue to evaluate the needs of other missionaries serving in regions where concern about the virus is elevated. The manner in which people are meeting, greeting one another and gathering has changed because of concerns about the virus, making missionary work especially difficult.
As a precaution, all missionaries in the Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission, Singapore Mission, and Thailand Bangkok Mission have been instructed to remain in their apartments and avoid going outside except to purchase food and other supplies, to exercise, or to attend worship services (where held). Whenever they are outside, missionaries are urged to stay at least six feet away from others and avoid any personal interaction. During this time, missionaries will teach people through phone calls or other technology. These guidelines will be in place until further notice. Additionally, all missionaries who were preparing to arrive in these three missions will be temporarily reassigned to other countries until the situation stabilizes.
Missionaries in the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission are taking similar precautions but are making limited visits to people when invited. Missionaries throughout South Korea will also begin to self-isolate using recommendations from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
All missionaries, regardless of where they are serving, have been reminded to follow basic preventative health practices to avoid illness. It is important to note that young missionaries are not generally considered to be at risk for serious complications from the coronavirus.
We are also evaluating the needs of members and providing support or further instructions. The Taipei Taiwan Temple has been closed temporarily, and the Seoul Korea Temple will temporarily close beginning Saturday. Members in some parts of the world are not gathering for weekly worship services. In other places, services are being held on a limited schedule. Local Church leaders are also working to support and minister to the needs of members in these areas.
The Church will continue to closely follow developments and will make any further adjustments as needed.