CoronavirusEvansvilleIndiana

Gov. Holcomb Issues Guidance for Places of Worship During COVID-19 Outbreak

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Eric Holcomb is urging all church buildings and physical locations for worship to close ahead of the Easter holiday

Gov. Holcomb’s executive order 20-18 states all public and private gatherings, including religious and spiritual, should follow CDC guidance, which restricts gatherings to ten or fewer people.

He encouraged all churches to provide livestream services ahead of Easter.   He said staff and volunteers who are not speaking should wear masks.

In addition, drive-in services may be conducted but must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Attendees must be inside vehicles at all times.
  • Attendees should not interact physically with clergy, staff or participants in other vehicles.
  • Vehicles should contain only members of a single household. Do not bring your neighbors or others outside of your household.
  • Cars must be spaced the equivalent of every other parking spot or approximately 9 feet apart.
  • No one may exit a vehicle at any time.
  • Portable bathrooms are not allowed on the premises and no church facilities may be used by attendees.
  • It is preferred that no communion be distributed.
    • In instances when communion is distributed, only prepackaged communion may be used and must be prepared and distributed in a manner that meets food safety standards.

Holcomb added that individuals who are 65 years and older, sick or are vulnerable and at higher risk for illness should not attend.

During this time of uncertainty, faith is more important than ever, and I am deeply grateful to our religious leaders for their efforts to find safe and creative ways to serve their communities.  The purpose of this guidance is not to restrict religious liberty, but to save lives during these extraordinary times. I look forward to the day where we can once again worship side-by-side without the threat of spreading coronavirus.

To view all the executive orders, click here.

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