Arizona Department of Health Services has recommended the cancellation or postponement of any gatherings of more than 50 people. The state has had 18 people diagnosed with COVID-19.
Local churches, many consulting with each other, began considering changes to limit the potential spread, some more dramatically than others.
Among Maricopa churches in which leadership has announced changes due to the coronavirus are Our Lady of Grace Parish, which announced all daily masses have been suspended through April 16. Saturday and Sunday masses are suspended through April 6, following a directive of Bishop Edward Weisenburger of the Diocese of Tucson. That includes Lenten Daily Mass.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has six wards in Maricopa, temporarily suspended services and meetings worldwide and closed historic sites. An upcoming General Conference in April will be viewed remotely only.
Waypoint Church announced it will have a shorter and simpler service and share “waves and smiles instead of handshakes and high fives.” Waypoint Youth was canceled for the rest of the month.
Church of Celebration limited its Sunday meetings to one service and cautioned those who are ill or vulnerable to illness to stay at home.
Bishops of the United Methodist Church recommended postponing its General Conference set for May in Minneapolis.
Faith Baptist Church announced it would meet at its regular times but also cautioned its members of the possibility of future changes and cancellations.
Community of Hope, too, continued with its regular service this week and asked members to use their own best judgment when deciding to attend. Like other churches in Maricopa, it continues to monitor the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control.