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Churches can have 50 percent of capacity at in-person services, state says

Houses of worship can have 50 percent of capacity on in-person services, according to Gov. Andy Beshear’s Healthy at Work guidelines.

That will be some refreshing news to Kentucky Baptist churches, said Dr. Todd Gray, the executive director-treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

“While Kentucky Baptist churches have worked diligently to provide excellent worship services at 33 percent seating capacity, this new guideline will be helpful,” he said. “For many, this will feel like we are moving back in the right direction.”

In the Guidelines for Places of Worship, it is still recommended to conduct alternative services including tele-services, radio broadcasts and drive-in services.

The guideline said singing during services also creates a higher risk of spreading infectious particles, and choirs should avoid singing in services.

Many Kentucky Baptist churches have restarted in-person services, and several others will start back on Sunday.

Social distancing rules still apply to worship services, according to the state guidelines, including wearing masks and keeping six feet of distance.

Places of worship should wait to reopen youth services, including Sunday school, until childcare services have reopened on Monday. Once the childcare services have restarted, youth services should follow the same requirements, the guidelines state.

If a place of worship must use a standard oral/aural thermometer, consider having the congregant take their own temperature and relay the information to maintain social distancing and sanitize the thermometer after each use.