UPDATED 10:55 AM PT – Saturday, October 10, 2020
Portions of California are preparing to reopen places of worship as COVID-19 restrictions are slowly being lifted. Ventura County announced the reopening of churches this week.
This came after the county moved into the less restrictive stage of the state’s reopening plan, the “red tier.” Under the new guidelines, people can gather indoors at 25% capacity or up to 100 people, whichever is fewer.
Masks and physical distancing will still be mandatory, while water fountains will be turned off. One church in the county reported they will save indoor mass for weekday services, when fewer people typically attend.
“We’re limited to 75 persons in the church for social distancing, but outside, we can accommodate easily in the garden 100, 120 people,” stated Priest Tom Elewaut. “I wouldn’t want to turn 25 to 45 people away on Sunday mass.”
The church is planning to spread out indoor visitors in different rooms, with the service streaming on televisions throughout the church.