A county in California has ordered the closing of indoor worship services, as well as other secular facilities like gyms and shopping malls, to counter a rise in COVID-19 cases.
San Mateo County began the official closure of indoor church services at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, several hours before many worship services would have begun.
The County Manager’s Office explained that the shutdowns occurred because the county was put on a monitoring list for the coronavirus.
In addition to houses of worship, other entities barred from indoor operation include fitness centers, nail salons, shopping malls, and nonessential offices.
“We’ve been anticipating being added to the monitoring list as our case rate hovers above the state’s target,” explained San Mateo County Manager Mike Callagy in a statement.
“It’s clear that COVID-19 continues to spread in our community and in the Bay Area. It’s vital that we all do everything we can — wearing face coverings, washing our hands, and avoiding gatherings — to slow and eventually stop the spread. These individual actions can make a huge difference.”
As of last Friday, San Mateo reported 5,544 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 119 deaths of which 80 were in nursing homes, according to CBS San Francisco.
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