LA County churches, places of worship allowed to resume indoor services

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 09: The Rev. Arturo Corral (TOP C) walks to give communion individually, to maintain social distancing among congregants, during Mass celebrated outdoors at the historic Our Lady Queen of Angels (La Placita) Church am

Los Angeles County has reversed their ban and have allowed for indoor services to continue at places of worship. 

For months local churches and places of worship were holding outdoor services indoor to meet COVID-19 protocols. 

On Saturday, Los Angeles County health officials modified the health order to allow for indoor services to be held; their decision is in line with recent Supreme Court rulings upholding religious freedoms. 

In November the court ruled that churches can offer faith-based services, even indoors, with the proper safety protocols. That includes mandatory physical distancing and face coverings over both the nose and mouth that must be worn at all times during the service.

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Attendance cannot exceed the number of people who can be accommodated while maintaining a physical distance of six feet between worshipers from separate households.

The public health department says even though indoor services can resume again, they strongly encourage places of worship to hold services outdoor. 

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 12: The Rev. Arturo Corral (L) speaks during outdoor Mass marking the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the historic Our Lady Queen of Angels (La Placita) Church amid the COVID-19 pandemic on December 12, 2020 in Lo

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Their decision to modify the health order comes as LA County saw a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases. The county surpassed 600,000 cases and hospitalizations continue to soar.

On Dec. 20, the health department reported 13,315 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 58 additional deaths. To date the county has seen 623,670 positive cases and a total of 8,875 deaths. 

Public health officials say ‘LA County is experiencing the fastest acceleration of new cases than at any other time during the pandemic.’ Many are saying the surge is due to Thanksgiving and holiday gatherings. 

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