Churches in MA are now permitted to begin reopening at up to 40 percent of their building’s capacity. In guidance released late last night, phase one of the state’s reopening plan removes the previous cap of ten people and now states that “places of worship shall limit occupancy to 40 percent of the building’s maximum permitted occupancy level…”
The new “Safety Standards” for places of worship are a combination of requirements and recommendations, including maintaining social distancing, wearing facemasks and sanitizing the church between services. The standards also continue to prohibit “communal gatherings” before or after the service and mandate the reporting of anyone discovered to have COVID-19 to local health officials. We’ll be taking a closer look at this as more details come out later today and throughout the week.
However, I wanted you to know as soon as possible about what is overall an encouraging development. In the past week, more than 600 of you left comments for the Reopening Board, letting them know the church needs to be in Phase One. They responded.
After talking to many pastors about this issue over the past several weeks, I know that each church is going to process the ‘when’ and the ‘how’ of reopening as best fits their own circumstances. I am happy to see that our government has decided to trust the churches to make those complex decisions for themselves.
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