Several Catholic dioceses in northern Italy have suspended Mass and other activities this week to help contain the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by coronavirus.

The northern regions of Italy saw a dramatic uptick in coronavirus cases over the weekend, prompting some regions to suspend all events or gatherings of any form, in public or private.

In response to the outbreak, dioceses in the area have taken various measures, including cancelling Masses and asking Catholics to receive the Eucharist only in the hand.

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