Churches, temples, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship are once again able to open in Riverside County, officials announced Monday afternoon.
Services are able to begin immediately, however, statewide guidelines must be followed. One of the big changes brought about by the new guidelines limits the number of attendees. Services must limit the number of attendees to 25 percent of normal room occupancy or 100 people, whichever number comes out lower.
The statewide guidelines allowing religious services and funerals were released Monday morning.
Other guidelines include:
- Conduct temperature checks
- Strongly consider discontinuing singing or group recitations
- Implement social distancing measures
- Consider outside services
- Discourage sharing of items, handholding, touching or kissing of relics
- Disinfect common areas
- Consider disposable seat covers
- Install hand sanitizer dispensers
“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 Board Chair V. Manuel Perez, Fourth District Supervisor. “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.”
Other modifications and measures intended to keep employees, volunteers and congregants safe are available in the statewide guidance posted on the county’s website at www.rivcoccsd.org/covidbizhelp.
Over the weekend, we spoke with some churches around the valley, one went ahead and opened up while others decided to wait as they prepare to open safely.
Religious services are the latest reopening in Riverside County this weekend. On Friday, the county was allowed to enter into accelerated stage 2 reopening, which allows dine-in restaurants and malls to operate with modifications.
Our local shopping centers are beginning to announce reopening dates, including the Westfield Mall, which will reopen on Friday, May 29.
Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Friday that California is days away from modifications for salons. He also said the order placing limits on gatherings may be modified soon.