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San Diego houses of worship can reopen doors to the public on Wednesday

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

SAN DIEGO — It is the day many religious people have been waiting for for months. Houses of worship all across San Diego can reopen their doors to in-person religious services on Wednesday.

On Monday the state released new rules that allowed the reopenings to happen.

Faith leaders 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 at places of worship within their jurisdictions.

County Supervisor, Diane Jacob, wrote on Tuesday that she would be sending a letter to the governor, “to reconsider the state’s limit of 100 people per religious service. Some places of worship have the capacity for thousands. The 100-person cap does not appear to take into account the ability to safely physically distance a larger number of people in a bigger space."

The 21-day limitation was put in place so the houses of worship can reopen then the California Department of Health can review the data after the openings then reconsider the limits.

Some of the other rules the governor included are: no singing, no touching, no passing of items, and no using community items such as Bibles or hymnals.

The state rules also include:

  • screenings and temperatures checks for church staff and congregants
  • discontinued use of collection plates, and other shared-use objects
  • shortened services to limit the time spent in the vicinity of others
  • parishioners should also expect to wear masks and social distancing to be enforced as well.

The state is requesting that online services to still be made available for those with underlying health issues.

County Supervisor Greg Cox said, “We thank the many places or worship that have held virtual services over the last several weeks and have avoided putting their parishioners at risk. WE encourage vulnerable populations and those with underlying conditions to continue staying at home to avoid these public gatherings.”

San Diego’s Catholic Churches will reopen on June 8th with some offering outside services.

RELATED: California releases COVID-19 guidelines for in-person religious services

RELATED: San Diego Roman Catholic parishes looking to hold in-person Masses in June

RELATED: Court denies South Bay San Diego church’s plea to reopen

RELATED: San Diego County Board of Supervisors to review plan for accelerated Phase 2 reopening

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