JERSEY – A church in southern New Jersey opened its doors to
parishioners in defiance of Governor Phil Murphy. This in the middle of a debate
between houses of worship and local governments asking people to
stay home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Sunday the Solid Rock Baptist Church in Berlin, Camden County, started
to let people in through their doors, even though they were required to wear face masks
and check its temperature before entering.
The measure defies Governor Phil Murphy’s closing orders and comes after President Donald Trump said Friday that churches and other places of worship are “essential” and called on governors to allow their reopening.
Speaking to CNN on Sunday, Murphy said: “I hope we can (reopen) houses of worship sooner rather than later, but we want to make sure we do it well, responsibly, and that we don’t risk anyone’s life by doing it too quickly. “
Solid Rock Baptist Church pastor Charles Clark III called the governor a “tyrant” and threatened to file a lawsuit in combination with another Camden County church. For Sunday services, the church separated the benches about six feet away and did not distribute collection baskets.
the precautions to be taken. Our elders, in particular, must
be cared for and we are especially careful with them and we know that we should
take steps to protect our church family and protect
our coronavirus community, “said Clark.
Police officers were outside the church on Sunday, but were not planning
make arrests, but instead installed cameras while observing the procedures.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have identified places of worship as key transmission routes for the new coronavirus.
A CDC study, released Friday, highlighted a case in which an Arkansas pastor and his wife infected 35 people at a service. However, there were no strict physical distancing measures in place at the time, and the CDC has now issued a guide on how houses of worship can keep people safe.
faith-based organizations should work with health officials
to determine how to implement US Government guidelines. USA
to modify activities during the COVID-19 pandemic and avoid
transmission of the virus to its members and their communities, “the CDC said of
the Arkansas case study.
However, not all church leaders are comfortable with starting a
more and more in-person services.
Sunday, 1.6 million people in the US USA they had contracted the virus and
nearly 100,000 had died, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.
New Jersey, which has been hit by the outbreak, more than 11,000 people
died from the virus as of Saturday and more than 153,000 were infected.
State and local governments in recent weeks have begun to lift strict restrictions on staying home, raising fears of yet another increase in infections.