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With a worsening pandemic, California bans singing in places of worship

While you can still attend in-person church services in California, you can't sing.The state,...

Posted: Jul 3, 2020 9:53 AM
Updated: Jul 3, 2020 3:42 PM

While you can still attend in-person church services in California, you can't sing.

The state, to curb a rapidly worsening pandemic, has temporarily banned singing and chanting in places of worship.

The California Department of Public Health provided the following information in response to a NewsWatch 12 inquiry:

For easier reference, here is a summary of the substantive changes made on July 1 to the guidance for the places of worship:

  • Discontinuing singing and chanting activities and considering alternative methods for these activities, such as internet streaming
  • Reminding congregants and visitors in advance to bring a face covering and make them available to anyone who arrives without one, if possible
  • Requiring workplaces to incorporate the CDPH Face Covering Guidance into the Workplace Specific Plan and include a policy for handling exemptions
  • Updating the list of COVID-19 symptoms and guidelines for returning to work after diagnosis per CDC guidelines
  • Additional minor edits.

While the guidance can be considered a legal mandate, the Governor is asking all Californians to be responsible and do their part to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

"Practices and performances present an increased likelihood for transmission of Covid-19 through contaminated exhaled droplets and should occur through alternative methods like internet streaming," the state's Department of Public Health announced in an order Wednesday.

California has had more than 24,000 coronavirus cases. On Tuesday, it announced 6,367 cases, the second highest total for the state since the pandemic began. This has prompted Gov. Gavin Newsom to tighten restrictions.

Covid patients make up for about 30% of all hospitalizations, according to state data.

Singing at services has proven to be one way to spread a virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The agency studied how coronavirus spread from one member to 87% of the singers at a Washington choir practice and said in a report:

"The act of singing, itself, might have contributed to transmission through emission of aerosols, which is affected by loudness of vocalization."

Other changes

While the California Department of Public Health strongly recommends places of worship should continue to facilitate remote serves, in-person services are currently permitted in California if proper measures are followed.

Among the existing protocols, all houses of worship are required limit their attendance to 25% of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, the order says.

"Places of worship must take reasonable measures to remind congregants and visitors that they must use face coverings and practice physical distancing and should frequently wash their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, use hand sanitizer, and not touch their face," the order says.

Offering plates and similar items that move between people at places of worship have also been temporarily discontinued.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 19699

Reported Deaths: 333
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah455393
Washington287723
Marion271368
Umatilla212224
Clackamas144337
Malheur70812
Deschutes5488
Lane5353
Jackson4111
Yamhill39912
Lincoln3959
Union3922
Jefferson3243
Morrow3162
Polk30012
Linn25510
Klamath1981
Hood River1740
Wasco1713
Benton1606
Douglas1391
Josephine1071
Coos880
Columbia840
Clatsop820
Crook431
Baker350
Lake320
Tillamook320
Wallowa191
Curry140
Sherman140
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant20
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 526685

Reported Deaths: 9684
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1958054760
Riverside38487738
Orange38066653
San Bernardino34017477
San Diego30516568
Kern21228151
Fresno15759138
San Joaquin11958180
Alameda11909192
Santa Clara11030192
Sacramento10174148
Tulare9990193
Imperial9513232
Stanislaus9308135
Contra Costa8176131
Ventura787777
San Francisco698961
Santa Barbara652663
San Mateo5744120
Marin518076
Monterey496634
Merced458351
Kings445356
Solano380638
Sonoma311339
Madera211432
Placer195318
San Luis Obispo192616
Yolo161442
Santa Cruz11964
Butte10128
Napa9809
Sutter8406
San Benito6894
El Dorado6681
Lassen6320
Yuba5334
Shasta3979
Colusa3574
Mendocino3419
Glenn3321
Nevada3161
Tehama2461
Humboldt2454
Lake2111
Mono1451
Tuolumne1442
Amador1370
Calaveras1361
Del Norte900
Siskiyou880
Inyo641
Mariposa592
Plumas330
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
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