The Roman Catholic archdiocese for Albuquerque, Santa Fe and other parts of central and northern New Mexico has announced the immediate closings of its churches and schools “until further notice" to help prevent spread of the coronavirus.
A statement issued Thursday by the Santa Fe archdiocese said church officials were “particularly concerned about the safety and health of our elderly, children and our chronically ill population."
Northwestern and southern New Mexico are in the church's dioceses in Gallup and Las Cruces, respectively..
Also Thursday, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that K-12 public schools will close for three weeks in an effort to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
Public health officials have banned mass gatherings that involve 100 or more people in spaces such as stadiums or auditoriums as a way to limit the spread of the virus.
The state on Thursday confirmed a sixth positive test for coronavirus for a woman in her 50s from Santa Fe County who recently traveled to Italy, where more than 800 deaths have been linked to COVID-19.