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Latter-day Saint Church removes missionaries from Hong Kong and Macau amid coronavirus outbreak

Posted at 7:55 PM, Feb 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-04 22:48:42-05

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced it will be removing 113 missionaries from the China Hong Kong Mission in the coming days as the new coronavirus continues to spread in China.

According to an announcement released by the church Tuesday, most missionaries will be temporarily reassigned to other missions. Those nearing their scheduled release date will be sent home and honorably released, the announcement said.

Twelve missionaries from Hong Kong will return home and be released from service until the situation has stabilized, the church said.

Most missionaries will return home before being reassigned, the church stated. They will self-isolate for 14 days and follow other guidelines from the World Health Organization.

"For several days prior to leaving Hong Kong, all missionaries have rigorously followed preventative health practices to avoid illness including remaining in their apartments as much as possible, not engaging in teaching, wearing masks, and frequently washing their hands. Therefore, the likelihood of any of these missionaries having contracted the coronavirus is very low. Additionally, each missionary is required to show no symptoms before leaving Hong Kong," the church's statement read.

The church added that it is working to support church members and employees areas where the coronavirus is a concern and will make adjustments if needed.