Places of Worship Allowed to Resume Services with No More Than 100 People
San Bernardino County announced Monday that places of worship can begin to reopen under new State-specified guidelines.
Religious services and funerals are now allowed if attendance is limited to 25 percent of a building’s capacity, but no more than 100 attendees.
“This is a great first step for our residents of faith who have refrained from gathering for more than two months,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “The COVID-19 virus is still very present throughout our county. With places of worship, dine-in restaurants, stores, and malls now suddenly open, it is more important than ever that we practice physical distancing, wear face coverings in public, and frequently wash our hands to protect ourselves and those around us.”
To reopen for religious services and funerals, places of worship must:
- Establish and implement a COVID-19 prevention plan for every location, train staff on the plan, and regularly evaluate workplaces for compliance.
- Train employees and volunteers on COVID-19, including how to prevent it from spreading and which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting the virus.
- Implement cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
- Set physical distancing guidelines.
- Recommend that staff and guests wear cloth face coverings, and screen staff for temperature and symptoms at the beginning of their shifts.
- Set parameters around or consider eliminating singing and group recitations. These activities dramatically increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission. For this reason, congregants engaging in singing, particularly in the choir, and group recitation should wear face coverings at all times and when possible, these activities should be conducted outside with greater than 6-foot distancing.
The State Department of Public Health in consultation with the County Department of Public Health will review and assess the impact of the religious services guidelines in 3 weeks and provide further direction as part of a phased-in restoration of activities.
To view the full list of guidelines issued by the State for religious services and cultural ceremonies visit: https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-places-of-worship.pdf.