Inslee eases some strictures on religious services

Some coronavirus restrictions on in-person worship have been relaxed for churches, under new guidance issued by Gov. Jay Inslee.

The Tacoma News-Tribune reported that the guidance issued late Monday includes worship, religious study classes, religious ceremonies and religious holiday celebrations.

While drive-in services or remote sessions are still the recommended option, counties in Phase 1 of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan can hold outdoor services for as many as 100 people, with a required 6 feet of distancing and facial coverings worn by those who attend.

In Phase 2, outdoor services can be attended by as many as 200 people with the same masking and distancing requirements as Phase 1, and indoor services can be held for as much as 25 percent of the room’s capacity or 200 people, whichever is less.

Indoor services can expand to 50 percent capacity or 400 people with distancing and masks in place for Phase 3. Outdoor services can accommodate as many as 400 people as well with social distancing enforced. In this phase, in-home religious services for as many as 10 people, with masks required for all participants, is also allowed.

Organizations are also encouraged to keep a two-week log of visitors and attendees in the case of an outbreak. (AP)

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