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Churches taking extra precautions, even with looser COVID-19 restrictions than other businesses

Church leaders want safe worship experience
Church chairs
Posted at 8:28 PM, Nov 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-12 20:35:23-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Under the latest COVID-19 health order in Marion County, churches and worship centers are allowed to stay at 75% capacity.

Governor Holcomb didn’t announce any state-wide restrictions on religious gatherings either during his Wednesday COVID-19 press briefing, even though State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said there is a spike in COVID-19 cases every Sunday related to church services. Instead, Governor Holcomb urged religious institutions to take precautions and worship safely.

The lead pastor at Fervent Prayer Church on Indianapolis’ east side said they are doing just that.

Pastor James Jackson said they take and log everyone’s temperature upon arrival, there are social distancing measures in place, extra cleaning being done and everyone must wear a mask.

"We are people of faith and we trust in God, but we are not foolish to think that we could just have everybody who is a member, or that everybody who wants to come in can come in without doing what we need to do as best we can to protect people from this global pandemic,” said Pastor James Jackson.

He said their capacity is 425 and right now they’re only seeing 100-150 people come for service in-person each Sunday, which is well below the 75% capacity limit in Marion County. Pastor Jackson says more people are choosing to use their online and streaming services to worship at home.

He tells us they had this option for church-goers before the pandemic, but it has since taken off in popularity.

If the church does start to see an increased demand for in-person services around the holidays, Pastor Jackson says he will add additional services and worship times to keep the number of people inside well under capacity.