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Governor Newsom Announces New Rules for Church Reopenings

TJ Gehling
Flickr Creative Commons
Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, CA. On Monday, May 25th, Governor Gavin Newsom announced new guidelines for reopening churches and other places of worship.


Over the holiday weekend, there was a back and forth about whether or not places of worship should reopen right now. 

Governor Gavin Newsom has said they should stay closed for safety reasons. But on Friday, President Donald Trump announced that churches should be considered essential businesses and allowed to reopen.


Later that same day, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Newsom’s ban on in-person church services finding that the action did not restrict or infringe on people’s right to practice their religion.


But then, on Monday, Governor Newsom released guidelines for how places of worship can reopen around the state.


Under the guidelines, churches could only be filled to a quarter of their capacity, no more than a hundred people total. They would have to adhere to a long list of safety measures and high-risk activities like singing should be banned.


Newsom’s guidelines do not require churches to reopen. And in fact, several African-American ministers and civil rights leaders held a demonstration in San Francisco on Monday urging the religious community to continue to stay home.