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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: 21488

Reported Deaths: 357
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah496096
Washington311925
Marion293870
Umatilla230228
Clackamas154940
Malheur80414
Deschutes61110
Lane5903
Jackson4732
Yamhill46713
Lincoln4189
Union3942
Morrow3723
Jefferson3714
Polk31912
Linn28410
Klamath2012
Hood River1930
Wasco1923
Benton1696
Douglas1511
Josephine1152
Columbia970
Coos910
Clatsop850
Crook491
Baker400
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Sherman160
Curry150
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant40
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 574231

Reported Deaths: 10476
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2105434998
Riverside41983820
Orange40527726
San Bernardino36072546
San Diego32975594
Kern24440171
Fresno17846171
Alameda13631209
San Joaquin12864223
Santa Clara12694205
Sacramento12040177
Tulare10862196
Stanislaus10264169
Imperial9693244
Contra Costa9404139
Ventura863492
San Francisco762367
Santa Barbara670469
San Mateo6318120
Merced573670
Monterey544635
Marin540481
Kings445356
Solano427441
Sonoma367047
Madera246339
Placer231922
San Luis Obispo225416
Yolo183444
Santa Cruz12436
Butte12388
Napa107411
Sutter9527
San Benito7654
El Dorado7552
Lassen6830
Yuba6464
Mendocino47210
Shasta45910
Colusa3914
Glenn3603
Nevada3571
Humboldt2864
Tehama2761
Lake2402
Amador1822
Mono1581
Tuolumne1553
Calaveras1471
Inyo1063
Siskiyou1020
Del Norte1000
Mariposa622
Plumas360
Modoc50
Trinity50
Sierra40
Alpine20
Unassigned00
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