Churches and places of worship were able to open up their doors again for in-person services this weekend.
Churches were asked to close indoor services back in July due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Now that we’re in the red tier of reopening, Riverside churches and other places of worship can reopen indoors at 25 percent capacity or 100 people.
News Channel 3’s Caitlin Thropay got reactions from some churchgoers heading back to church for service inside this weekend.
“It’s wonderful to do something normal and to be with church family and friends,” Deborah Mcintyre told News Channel 3.
Cornerstone Covenant Church in Palm Desert welcomed back some of their congregation on Sunday after months of closed indoor services.
“We’re coming back to church this month," Dr. Chris Hushaw the lead pastor at Cornerstone Covenant Church spoke with News Channel 3 before his first in-person service in months. "The governor has given us permission to safely come back with 25 percent of our occupancy which for us that means about 100 people,” he added.
“I feel excited and I feel so loved being in church,” Sue Lowell said.
Parishioners that attended church on Sunday had to make a reservation in advance.
“Church is everything to me so I’m glad to be here,” Lowell added.
This church is having a soft opening, hoping to gradually welcome people back as they test out some of their new safety features.
“One of the things we’re excited about with our church is that we’re moving from rows to into circles,” Dr. Hushaw said.
The circles allow households to sit together.
“We’ve done a number of upgrades to our facility to make sure we’re safe," he said. "We have air scrubbers with UV lights, we have sanitation stations. We’re doing social distancing, actually, we call it physical distancing because we’re going to be social that what church is all about," he added.
“Seeing your friends, seeing fellow believers and just going together and that’s really what God calls us to do is to come and gather where two or more are gathered He is there,” Laina Lira said.
For those still uncomfortable meeting in person, the church is keeping their virtual services going.