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New Bishop of the Baton Rouge Diocese Michael Duca, left, shakes hands with Prairieville's Robbie Templet, right, just after Duca's installment ceremony and mass at St. Joseph Cathedral, Friday, August 24, 2018.

The Diocese of Baton Rouge announced several temporary changes to the Mass because of concerns about the coronavirus.

Those changes, announced Tuesday night, include the following:

  • Those who receive communion "do so in their hands instead of on their tongues."
  • Taking communion from a communal cup, or chalice, "is temporarily suspended except for priests and deacons."
  • The sign of peace will be exchanged "without physical contact."

"The information was sent to priests and deacons of the diocese and is in accord with what many other dioceses are doing around the country," the diocese said in a statement.

The statement doesn't specify how long the changes will last.

East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome addressed the public Tuesday morning to discuss how Louisiana health officials are preparing for the state's first potential case of coronavirus. 

"We do expect cases here in Louisiana sooner or later," Broome said.

Broome says she's asked the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to coordinate with the recently formed Louisiana Coronavirus Task Force, local medical personnel, public safety officials and other stakeholders to follow developments related to coronavirus.