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California Churches, In-Store Retail Can Reopen With Counties’ APPROVAL

California Churches, In-Store Retail Can Reopen With Counties’ APPROVAL

Houses of worship can hold services and in-store retail shopping can reopen, but only if counties approve, the state announced Monday. Riverside County moving forward

Churches, temples, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship are able to open in Riverside County, officials announced Monday afternoon.

Governor Gavin Newsom previously announced on Friday that California is days away from modifications for salons.

Services are able to begin now as long as statewide guidelines are Followed.

Services must limit the number of attendees to 25 percent of normal room occupancy or 100 people, whichever number comes out lower.

The statewide guidelines allowing religious services and funerals were released Monday morning.

Some notes from the guidance include:

Places of worship must limit attendance to 25% of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower.

This limitation will be in effect for the first 21-days of a county public health department’s approval of religious services and cultural ceremonies activities at places of worship within their jurisdictions.

Upon 21-days, the California Department of Public Health, in consultation with county Departments of Public Health, will review and assess the impact of these imposed limits on public health and provide further direction as part of a phased-in restoration of activities in places of worship.

Places of worship should continue to provide services through alternative methods (such as via internet live and/or recorded streaming, telephone, drive-in, etc.) whenever possible. Consider holding in-person meetings and providing in-person services outside whenever possible.

Shorten services to limit the length of time congregants/visitors spend at facilities whenever possible. This could include limiting speeches, asking congregants/visitors to put on garments at home before arrival, etc.

Each location is required to have a written plan to prevent the risk of spreading coronavirus, as well as a point person to implement it all. Like we’ve seen as other industries have reopened, training, disinfecting, and physical distancing are key points. Self-service food and beverage events are to be discontinued.

Another consideration addresses a component of many religious ceremonies: singing. “Strongly consider discontinuing singing, group recitation, and other practices and performances where there is increased likelihood for transmission from contaminated exhaled droplets.”

He also said the order placing limits on gatherings may be modified soon.

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In-store shopping resumes, if counties approve.

Meanwhile, in-store retail shopping, previously allowed only in counties that had moved further into Stage 2 of the reopening plan, is now permitted statewide, officials said Monday.

Like religious services, the eased rules for retail must be approved by counties before they can take effect. Some regions, including the Bay Area and Los Angeles County, have allowed only curbside retail to resume.

A San Francisco County Health spokesperson told Patch Monday afternoon that in-store retail would remain prohibited. There was no sign Monday that retail rules were set to change in the Bay Area or Los Angeles County.

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