The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced more temple and stake center closures on Thursday as the coronavirus spreads, marking the first closures in the U.S. and Europe due to the virus.
The Rome, Italy, location was added to the church’s list of temporarily closed temples, bringing the total number to five. As of Thursday, 148 people in Italy has died from COVID-19 — the highest number of deaths in any country outside of China, The New York Times reported.
Church services at the Bothell Stake in Seattle were also suspended amid the Washington outbreak, which has infected more than 70 people and resulted in 11 deaths.
In late February, the church announced the virus was hindering its missionary efforts across large parts of Asia.
Temples in Taipei, Taiwan; Seoul, South Korea; and Fukuoka and Sapporo, Japan, have shut down. The Hong Kong and Tokyo temples already were closed for renovation.
Missionaries planning to serve in Japan, Cambodia, Thailand, Mongolia, Singapore and South Korea have had their proselytizing curtailed in some way, including postponing start dates or receiving new, temporary assignments. Some near the end of the missions will return home early.
Missionaries in Hong Kong already were sent to new, temporary assignments.