County of Santa Clara Statement Regarding Indoor Worship Services

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2021

Santa Clara County, CA Indoor worship services may resume in Santa Clara County at 20% of a facility’s capacity, subject to all the requirements for indoor gatherings in the County’s Gatherings Directive.  The County Health Officer strongly discourages any indoor gatherings, including indoor worship services, given the current significant risk to the entire community from these gatherings.  Religious institutions have successfully carried out alternatives to indoor worship services for months, and are encouraged to continue doing so to avoid putting their congregants and the community in danger.

This amendment to the County’s Health Orders is due to a temporary order from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California this evening.

“We are disappointed by the temporary order of the federal district court,” said James R. Williams, County Counsel.  “COVID-19 continues to pose a serious risk in our community, and unfortunately no court decision can decree otherwise.  The County has consistently had a legal framework for its health orders that respects well-established constitutional precedent.”

All other indoor gatherings remain prohibited.  And indoor worship services may only proceed subject to all other State and local safety protocols, including mandatory face coverings, social distancing, and the prohibition on singing and chanting indoors.

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