As news of the coronavirus affecting mainland China continues to make headlines, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued a statement regarding the health and safety of its missionaries. The statement was given by Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff.
The statement reads:
While the Church does not conduct missionary work in mainland China, there are more than 67,000 missionaries serving around the world and their health and safety is our top priority. We are closely monitoring the situation with the coronavirus and are in regular contact with medical professionals and experts on this issue. We are following the recommendations of the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and local authorities throughout the world and are ready to make adjustments as needed. Information is being distributed to mission leaders and missionaries that will help them take steps to protect themselves against respiratory illness. As they communicate weekly, parents should encourage their missionaries to follow standard practices to stay healthy and protect against illness.
On Wednesday, the Church reported its plans to send 79 pallets of protective medical equipment to the affected areas in China to help provide relief. The new coronavirus, causing major respiratory illnesses, was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is actively trying to discover the source of the new virus, which has now caused 170 deaths and over 7,700 cases. While less than 70 cases have been reported outside of China, the CDC strongly advises all people to follow standard hygiene habits. More information on the virus can be found here.