Gov. Newsom unveiled plans for places of worship to reopen with limited capacity

Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled plans on Monday for reopening California churches and allowing in-person religious services.

Under new guidance, places of worship can hold religious services and funerals that limit attendance to 25% of a building's capacity – or up to 100 attendees, whichever is lower – upon approval by the county department of public health.

While the vast majority of large gatherings remain prohibited under the state's stay-at-home order, the Department of Public Health has released guidelines for in-person protests and events designed for political expression. The guidance limits attendance to 25% of an area's maximum occupancy – or up to 100 attendees.

Newsom said the state has launched a contact tracing PSA campaign called California Connected. Public health workers will be contacting those who have tested positive for COVID-19 as well as people they've been in close contact with to make sure they have access to testing, the governor said..

On Friday, Trump said he would “override the governors” across the country who resist reopening religious institutions.


  • Staff, volunteers and congregants are strongly recommended to wear face masks when in the vicinity of others

  • Congregants should be screened for temperature and other symptoms

  • Staff must be screened with temperature checks before their shifts

  • Offering plates (and similar items) should not be passed around between worshippers

  • The sharing of items like prayer books, cushions and prayer rugs is discouraged

  • High traffic areas, like pews and lobbies, should be frequently disinfected

  • Microphones, instruments and other items on pulpit and podiums should be disinfected between uses

  • Consider shortening services to minimize the amount of time people are congregated together

  • Places of worship should consider using disposable seat covers and dispose of them between services

  • Seating and podium areas must be rearranged to allow for 6 feet of space between people

  • Open doors and windows to encourage fresh air to flow inside

Regarding hair salons and barbershops, Newsom said having enough personal protective equipment is crucial to loosening restrictions in the personal care sector.

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