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Churches prepare for the possibility of reopening indoors next weekend


There's a chance churches could reopen next weekend.

“They can go gambling but they cannot go to church and that’s not very nice,” chairman of parish council at Saint Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church of the Desert Sonia Matossian told News Channel 3 on Sunday.

Riverside County Public Health said last week there’s a possibility we could move to the red tier on Tuesday, which means places of worship would be allowed to reopen indoor services.

Matossian said their church is anxiously waiting to reopen.

“We have a beautiful church and it’s a small church," Matossian explained via Zoom. "It takes about 136 to 140 people and usually we have between 20 to 35 people coming every Sunday,” she said.

Matossian described what will be different during their services.

“We will insist on masks, face masks. We have put some hand sanitizers and we will observe the social distancing,” Matossian said.

At Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Palm Desert, they’re also excited at the possibility of reopening indoors next weekend.

“We are ready to go and we’ve been ready to go for months," Monsignor Howard Lincoln told News Channel 3. "What a welcomed change. We celebrated two masses in 119 degrees,” he added.

If churches get the green light Monsignor Lincoln said they’ll move back to 10 masses a weekend and only take 100 people per mass.

“We have a check in desk because you have to make a reservation to come to mass so we have a list of people just like if you made a reservation for a restaurant,” he said.

If Riverside County moves into the red tier churches can reopen indoors with modifications and 25 percent capacity or 100 people whichever is fewer.

To learn more about this next level of reopening and find out what else can reopen visit this link here.

Coronavirus / News Headlines / Top Stories

Caitlin Thropay

Caitlin Thropay is the Weekend Morning Anchor and Lifestyle Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3, The Desert’s News Leader. Learn more about Caitlin here.


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