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Diocese of Cleveland excuses Catholics from attending mass amid coronavirus concerns

Despite religious gatherings being exempt from DeWine's order, the diocese doesn't want to take any chances.

CLEVELAND — The Diocese of Cleveland is excusing Catholics from attending Sunday mass amid coronavirus concerns. 

On Thursday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued an executive order banning gatherings of more than 100 people in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus(COVID-19).

RELATED: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issues order banning gatherings of more than 100 people

Despite religious gatherings being exempt from DeWine's order, the Diocese doesn't want to take any chances. The Diocese issued a statement Thursday afternoon explaining their decision. 

" Even though religious gatherings are expressly excluded in the order, the Catholic bishops of Ohio -- out of concern for the common good and the physical as well as spiritual well-being of all of the people of Ohio -- have agreed to cooperate with the governor’s direction to create “social distance,” according to their website. 

" Catholic faithful who reside in Ohio and all other Catholics currently in Ohio are dispensed from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass" for the remaining weekends in March.  

The Diocese closed their correspondence with a suggestion to remain home if you are ill. 

"We encourage all the faithful, in particular those who are sick, experiencing symptoms of illness, or are at risk of illness to seriously consider refraining from Mass attendance."

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