(ETH) – If you attend Church in Arkansas you may want to know that there has been a new guideline that has just been issued for houses of worship in the state in order to curb a new increase of COVID-19 cases. According to the report from the Christian Post, the new mandate will require that all worshipers wear face masks at all times during worship.
This comes as Governor. Asa Hutchinson recently stated during a press conference on Tuesday that congregants must wear masks at all times during worship, especially when singing, which health experts warn is an act more likely spread the coronavirus. The only individuals that are exempt from the mandate are those who have medical reasons and cannot wear a face mask.
Other regulations, that are being implemented are the requirement that all congregants must keep at least six apart, apply to all. “The number of cases we’ve seen across Arkansas that come from places of worship has increased,” stated Hutchinson, adding that doesn’t mean that worshipers “aren’t careful.” “It just simply means that when you have congregants together, there is a risk associated with it.
The vast majority of our places of worship are taking precautions and doing a very good job. But there is that risk.” These revised guidelines were also posted on the Department of Health website by the Governor. “It’s possible to worship safely in person if ADH guidelines for places of worship are followed,” a PowerPoint slide of the guideline shared by the governor’s office reads.
“Masks need to be worn at all times by congregants, except those who are exempt under ADH guidelines. Masks are the biggest factor that contributes to safe worship.” Meanwhile, in Minnesota, Governor. Tim Walz has just announced new COVID-19 restrictions on bars and restaurants, weddings and funerals and private gatherings.
According to the report from FOX 5, bars and restaurants will be required to end dine-in service – including alcohol – at 10 p.m., although takeout and delivery service will still be allowed after that time and Indoor capacity will be capped off at 150 people and may not exceed 50% capacity under the new restrictions.
The report goes on to say that no bar seating or service will be permitted. Bars and restaurants that only have counter service can still have patrons line up with masks and then return to their tables. However, Bar games that require standing, such as darts and pool, will not be permitted.
The report states that the new restrictions also target private gatherings with beginning on Friday, there will be a 10-person limit for indoor and outdoor gatherings and all social gatherings will now be limited to three households or less, including the host. The governor also stressed that eating and drinking increases the risk of transmission, as well as talking loudly and singing.