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Baton Rouge Catholic Diocese Bishop Michael Duca talks about suggestions for temporary liturgical changes being made in the celebration of the Mass as a precaution against the Corona virus during a press conference Thursday March 5, 2020, in Baton Rouge, La.

Catholic school leaders with the Diocese of Baton Rouge announced Friday they will close all schools in the 12-parish diocese in line with Gov. John Bel Edwards' order to close all public schools in Louisiana through April 13 due to the threat of the coronavirus.

Catholic schools in the New Orleans and Acadiana areas decided earlier Friday to close in line with their respective public schools.

"In the spirit of that proclamation and for the safety of all involved in the ministry of Catholic education, schools in the Diocese of Baton Rouge will not conduct classes and activities during that time," said  Baton Rouge Catholic Schools Superintendent Melanie Palmisano.

Palmisano said the 30 diocesan schools will soon share with parents and students their policies and procedures for online lessons during the month that schools will stay closed.

"While students and faculty are working off-site, credit for attendance will be given," Palmisona said.

Typically, local Catholic schools follow the lead of the public school districts in their respective areas, but not always.

The Diocese of Baton Rouge oversees 30 schools in East Baton Rouge as well as Ascension, Assumption, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, St. James, Tangipahoa and West Baton Rouge parishes.

This article has been updated to correct the number of parishes in the Diocese of Baton Rouge.


Email Charles Lussier at clussier@theadvocate.com and follow him on Twitter, @Charles_Lussier.