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Gov. Walz signs Executive Order allowing safe worship, weddings and funerals

Updated: May 23, 2020 10:37 PM

Governor Tim Walz announced Saturday that places of worship may open at 25% occupancy on May 27th if they adhere to social distancing and other public health guidelines to keep congregants safe.

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To update this guidance, the Governor signed Executive Order 20-62 amending his previous orders to allow for safe worship, weddings, and funerals.

“I have had many meaningful conversations with faith leaders over the last few weeks,” Governor Walz said. “From a personal and public health perspective, the decision around places of worship has been a challenging one since the beginning of the pandemic. We know large gatherings of people raise the risk of spreading COVID-19. We also know worship is an essential part of many Minnesotans’ lives, including mine.”

The Governor's office said they partnered with Minnesota faith leaders to develop a plan for places of worship who decide to open to do so as safely as possible.

The Minnesota Department of Health has developed additional guidance for faith-based communities, places of worship, and services.

According to the Executive Order, places of worship, funeral homes, and other venues that offer gathering space for weddings, funerals, and planned services such as worship, rituals, prayer meetings, scripture studies, may host such services with over 10 people, provided that they adhere to the below requirements:

  • In all settings, ensure a minimum of 6 feet of physical distancing between households.
  • In indoor settings, occupancy must not exceed 25 percent of the normal occupant capacity as determined by the fire marshal, with a maximum of 250 people in a single self-contained space.
  • In outdoor settings, gatherings must not exceed 250 individuals.
  • Develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in accordance with guidance developed by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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