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Under LA County’s Strict COVID-19 Mandate, Church Services Exempt

Los Angeles County issued a temporary stay-at-home order, effective on Monday, which advises residents to remain at home as much as possible. The order, set to expire on December 20, bars public and private gatherings with individuals not in the same household.

The county has exempted activities like protests and religious services from the order, which are “constitutionally protected rights.”  A change of pace? Governments previously issued orders to restrict church gatherings, while either supporting or ignoring massive anti-police protests.

Because of “alarming levels” of the number of people hospitalized, the county enacted stricter regulations to stop the spread. From KTLA:

The new rules come two days after county officials banned outdoor dining.

“We know we are asking a lot from so many who have been sacrificing for months on end and we hope that L.A. County residents continue following Public Health safety measures that we know can slow the spread,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “Acting with collective urgency right now is essential if we want to put a stop to this surge. Please remain home as much as possible and do not gather with others not in your household for the next three weeks.”

The county requires residents to wear masks even outdoors. Schools remain open with safety protocols. Businesses, essential and non-essential, remain under capacity limits.

According to The Mercury News, Governor Gavin Newsom will announce more restrictions if hospitalizations continue to rise. Will he remove exemptions for church gatherings? If so, he must do the same for protests.

Photo credit: By Basil D SoufiOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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