Catholic mass mask newsok

Donna Williams wears a mask during Mass at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Mustang. CHRIS LANDSBERGER/The Oklahoman

OKLAHOMA CITY - Archbishop Paul S. Coakley said Thursday masks or face coverings are required to be worn by individuals attending all public Masses and church activities in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.

Coakley announced the new mandate in a "Letter to the Faithful" as the latest in a series of precautionary measures that have already been put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Previously, masks or face coverings had been encouraged but not mandatory.

Coakley said the new requirement was necessary because of the increased number of COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma since early June. In his letter, the archbishop told parishioners that the coronavirus has affected some of their family members and friends and more than a dozen priests, as well. Youths age 5 and younger are excluded from the mask requirement.

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