(22 May 2020) Gov. Gavin Newsom said California is developing guidelines for religious organizations to reopen as restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic are being eased in the state.
Newsom declined to comment directly on President Donald Trump’s declaration that churches and other houses of worship are “essential” or his call for governors to allow them to reopen this weekend despite the threat of the coronavirus.
Newsom said the state is expected to release the guidelines by Monday, which will take into account differing sizes of congregations and styles of worship.
Newsom was warned this week by Trump’s Justice Department that the state’s phased-in plan to restart economic activity puts an “unfair burden” on worship by not permitting churches to open earlier in the process.
More than 1,200 California pastors are planning to restart worship on May 31 despite Newsom’s stay-at-home orders.
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