People Praying in Church Face 90 Day Jail Time, $1,000 Fine in COVID-19 Crackdown
The order also requires residents to wear face coverings in public area
The largest county in the United States, San Bernardino County, has cracked down on those trying to flout lockdown rules amid the coronavirus pandemic with a new order issued on Tuesday.
The order now prohibits public church and other faith-based services, along with "driving parades" that have become popular online.
Churchgoers who violate the rules face 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The order also requires residents to wear face coverings in public areas.
"In an effort to protect the public from further spread of COVID-19, the County's Acting Health Officer has formally ordered everyone in San Bernardino County to wear a face-covering when leaving home," the statement read.
Families are also urged to have their own Easter egg hunts at home, the order states.
"Tuesday's order also says faith-based services must be electronic only through streaming or online technology. "
"People may not leave their homes for driving parades or drive-up services or to pick up non-essential items such as pre-packaged Easter eggs or bags filled with candy and toys at a drive-thru location," the order continued.
San Bernardino County is the fifth-largest county in California by population, with over 2 million residents.
The county reported 530 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 16 deaths.
Desertsun reported that county Acting Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson last week formally ordered short-term lodging facilities, including hotels, motels, and short-term rentals, to cease operations unless they are being used for COVID-19 mitigation and containment.
The SBSun also reported a volunteer fire department closed after one of its volunteers tested positive for COVID-19.
In a news release, the county’s Incident Management Team reported it learned Monday evening that a member of the Daggett Volunteer Fire Department had tested positive for the disease Sunday, a few days after exhibiting symptoms. Daggett is an unincorporated community about 10 miles east of Barstow.
On Tuesday, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, claimed that the world might never return to the “normal” after the coronavirus outbreak during a coronavirus press briefing on Monday.
"When we get back to normal, we will go back to the point where we can function as a society,” he said.
"If you want to get back to pre-coronavirus, that might not ever happen in the sense that the threat is there," he added.