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Houses of worship to reopen in Riverside County

Churches, temples, and other places of worship may now reopen in Riverside County following statewide guidance to allow religious services throughout the state. This statewide allowance comes after the country requested on May 15 for religious services to have special consideration for reopening during the state’s accelerated stage two.

“This is a significant step in the reopening process and we look forward to working with our places of worship with any assistance they need,” said Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “A cornerstone of many religions is to take care of each other. Let’s continue to take care of each other by praying and observing six feet apart.”

In-person services can begin immediately; however, statewide guidelines must be followed. According to the California Department of Public Health’s new guidelines, places of worship must limit attendance to 25 percent of normal room occupancy or 100 people — whichever is fewer — for 21 days.

After 21 days, the California Department of Public Health, in consultation with county Departments of Public Health, will review and assess the impact of these imposed limits on public health and provide further direction as part of a phased-in restoration of activities in places of worship.

Other guidelines include conducting temperature checks, implementing social distancing measures, disinfecting common areas, installing hand sanitizer dispensers, and discouraging sharing of items, handholding, and touching. The guidelines can be viewed at covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-places-of-worship.pdf.

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