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California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday launched guidelines for reopening houses of worship amid the coronavirus pandemic, after President Trump deemed them “essential” final week.
Under the governor’s guidelines, church buildings and different houses of worship can reopen if they’re given approval from county well being officers, however should restrict attendance to 25 p.c of capability or 100 individuals, whichever is much less.
With the intention to reopen, church buildings in California should set physical-distancing guidelines, set up new cleansing and disinfection protocols, encourage all to put on face masks and set parameters for singing and group recitations.
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The guidelines advisable seen markings to encourage social distancing or presumably seating congregants in alternating rows. Relations throughout the identical family may sit collectively whereas others would unfold out.
The guidelines urged houses of worship to change shared communion or related practices, presumably by avoiding any use of the widespread cup, receiving communion within the hand as an alternative of the tongue or offering pre-packaged communion objects in pews.
In three weeks, the Division of Well being will assess the influence of reopening houses of worship on the unfold of coronavirus, officers stated. The three-week interval would enable spiritual establishments one week to arrange and reopen and 14 days for the Covid-19 incubation interval.
The brand new steering nonetheless inspired organizations to proceed online providers and actions and to implement measures to guard older adults and other people with pre-existing circumstances.
In deeming houses of worship important on Friday, Trump threatened to override governors who didn’t enable them to reopen.
“The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now–for this weekend,” Trump stated. “If they don’t do it, I will override the governors.”
The president added, “In America, we need more prayer, not less.”
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On the identical time, Newsom, a Democrat, allowed retailers to reopen for in-store procuring statewide if county well being officers allowed it, under the state’s mitigation guidelines.
Under these guidelines, retail didn’t embrace private providers akin to salons and barbershops.
Fox Information’ Michael Lundin and Melissa Summers contributed to this report.