State drops limits on houses of worship
PRESS RELEASE – The state has dropped coronavirus capacity limits on houses of worship and religious events such as weddings and funerals, declaring they are “essential” after a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Late Monday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced the changes under a newly amended public health order.
The changes went into effect at 5 p.m. Monday, December 7th.
Under the order, worship ceremonies such as weddings and funerals are classified as essential. Such events can exceed recommended capacity limits if they can’t be held within the restrictions.
But, CDPHE said they must do their best to follow public health recommendations.
Masks still must be worn indoors and other prevention measures such as 6 feet of spacing between members of different households and proper sanitation must be adhered to. Outdoor activities continue to be strongly preferred.
Other institutions such as museums, aquariums, and zoos can open indoors to perform educational functions, with up to 25% capacity or 25 people per room, whichever is fewer.
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 temporary decision that New York’s cap on the number of people at places of worship could not be enforced.
Previously, Colorado was only allowing houses of worship to be at up to 50% of capacity or with up to 500 people in attendance, but only where the spread of COVID-19 was mild.
For counties under red or purple restrictions, capacity limits were capped at 50 people or 25% of capacity.
Reprinted courtesy of the Denver Gazette.