Church Singing Banned in California
New guidelines issued by the Department of Public Health restricts religious activities
Singing in any indoor religious services such as churches has been banned by the State of California to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, according to reports.
Under the new guidelines issued by the Department of Public Health, churchgoers are not allowed to sing even while using masks.
Below are the guidelines:
Even with adherence to physical distancing, convening in a congregational setting of multiple different households to practice a personal faith carries a relatively higher risk for widespread transmission of the COVID-19 virus, and may result in increased rates of infection, hospitalization, and death, especially among more vulnerable populations.
In particular, activities such as singing and chanting negate the risk- reduction achieved through six feet of physical distancing.
*Places of worship must therefore discontinue singing and chanting activities and limit indoor attendance to 25% of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower. Local Health Officers are advised to consider appropriate limitations on outdoor attendance capacities, factoring their jurisdiction’s key COVID- 19 health indicators.
At a minimum, outdoor attendance should be limited naturally through implementation of strict physical distancing measures of a minimum of six feet between attendees from different households, in addition to other relevant protocols within this document.
Places of worship began to re-open a few weeks ago as the spread of COVID-19 showed signs of slowing down.
But after the Black Lives Matter protests; a new surge began, which prompted the state to reinstate many restrictions.
In May, Churches moved to defy Newsom's orders by promising to resume in-person services.
The defiant move was announced by an attorney who drafted a “Declaration Of Essentiality For Churches."
The lawyer, Robert H. Tyler, has submitted a letter to California Governor Newsom (D-CA) informing him that several churches across the state are planning to reopen, despite his order.
The letter informs Newsom that pastors across the state have signed onto his declaration and now plan to resume in-person services on Sunday, May 31.
Mississippi church sues to avoid social distancing rules – then someone burned it to the ground— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) May 22, 2020
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But the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the church's appeal challenging Newsom’s guidelines restricting church attendance to 25% of capacity.
Choir practice without the use of masks was blamed for the outbreak of coronavirus in Washington State in March.
Preferential treatment to Black Lives Matter protests over religious services by state governors have also been called into question in New York.
In June, a preliminary injunction was handed down to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo by U.S. District Judge Gary L. Sharpe for violating the First Amendment after they shuttered down religious services while encouraging Black Lives Matter protests in the city.
Three Orthodox Jews and two Catholic priests joined forces earlier this month to file a lawsuit against the officials alleging their religious liberty was violated under the First Amendment (and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment).