Outdoor religious ceremonies approved for Phase 1 counties

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Beginning now, religious and faith-based organizations in Phase 1 counties (King) may host up to 100 people for outdoor services.

In Phase 2, (see previous article) they can host up to 25% of their capacity or 50 individuals, whichever is less, as well as conduct in-home services of five people. The guidance, which includes weddings and funerals, is available here.

The religious services covered include all worship services, religious study classes, religious ceremonies, religious holiday celebrations, weddings, and funerals. 

Choirs are not allowed, but singing may be done with face coverings. This is because the virus is transmitted through breathing: The louder voices are projected, the farther germs travel.

Organizations will be expected to meet requirements to protect employees, members, visitors and volunteers. These requirements include protections such as social distancing and face coverings, environmental cleaning, providing PPE, and educating employees about COVID-19 and how to prevent transmission.

“We, the Catholic Bishops of the State of Washington, are encouraged by the governor’s directives today allowing people of faith to resume public worship. 
"These directives are evidence of the good fruits which are born from patient dialogue and commitment to the public health and the common good,” said the Catholic Bishops of the State of Washington in a joint statement.


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