Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued new coronavirus orders Wednesday that ban singing in churches or other places of worship.
The state’s Department of Public Health did not return the state to a complete religious lockdown but ordered those of all faiths to “discontinue singing and chanting activities,” the Sacramento Bee reported.
When California allowed places of worship to reopen at 25% capacity after loosening restrictions on the coronavirus lockdown in late May, the state suggested participants refrain from “singing and chanting activities” but did not insist they do so. (RELATED: California Church Asks Supreme Court To Block Newsom’s Coronavirus Restrictions)
It’s now saying “Activities such as singing and chanting negate the risk reduction achieved through six feet of physical distancing,” according to the Bee. Religious sites also have to have face masks available for those who don’t bring one to the service.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has said that singing and shouting are no different than coughing or sneezing in promoting the spread of the COVID-19 virus in confined spaces.
Newsom has slowed the state’s reopening after a rebound in the coronavirus and recently halted a plan to allow indoor dining in restaurants. He ordered all citizens to wear face masks in public places in June. (RELATED: Illegal Aliens In California Can Now Begin Applying For Coronavirus Assistance)
Newsom issued a stay-at-home order in March while asking the federal government for almost $1 billion to build more hospitals and clinics. He faced some opposition when one county reopened its economy in defiance of the governors edict.
California has the dubious distinction of having the first coronavirus case in the United States: an infected person was discovered in the state’s Santa Clara County in late January.