Inslee issues new guidelines for religious gatherings under phase 1 and 2

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Governor Jay Inslee announced the state will ease some of the restrictions on religious gatherings for groups in both phase 1 and 2 of Washington’s Safe Start plan.

Religious groups in phase 1 are now allowed to hold outdoor services with up to 100 individuals, as long as those people use face coverings.

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Groups in phase 2 can hold indoor religious services at 25 percent capacity or with 50 individuals, whichever is less. Those congregating must also wear face coverings.

In-home services or counseling at a person’s residence can also resume under phase 2, as long as there are five people or fewer.

Choirs are allowed to sing, but singers must wear face masks.

These new guidelines exclude staff and volunteers who are needed to run services. The guidelines apply to all worship services, including religious study classes, ceremonies, weddings and funerals. Inslee said there is no limit on the number of these events that can be held during the day.

Inslee also encouraged congregations to maintain a voluntary log of those attending services in the case there is an outbreak. Logs help contract tracers get in touch with those who may have been infected with the virus.

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