Colorado Governor Jared Polis has just removed the church attendance caps and declared the houses of worship as "essential."
On Dec. 7, Colorado Governor Jared Polis together with the health department issued an order to remove the church attendance caps all over Colorado. The order was issued after the governor finally declared the houses of worship are essential so they are now allowed to exceed the recommended maximum number of people attending the in-person church services, the Christian Headlines reported.
The implemented order applies to church worship services across Colorado such as weddings, funerals, and alike. The government however reminded the public to ensure that churches observe the proper COVID 19 restrictions protocol.
Churches may gather beyond the maximum number of attendees provided that they observe the currently implemented rules to make sure that gatherings do not pose a serious risk of virus exposure to everyone.
Some of the highly expected practices among the attendees are social distancing, requiring everyone to observe six feet distance between people belonging to different households. Church members attending the in-person services are still required to wear face masks as well.
If possible, the Colorado government also encourages the churches to conduct their worship services outdoor. Yet having outdoor gatherings should have to wait for some time due to the approaching winter season, making indoor gatherings more conducive for church services.
The authorities recently issued an order limiting the number of people allowed to gather in churches. Similar orders were also executed in other states such as New York. The rule sets the church service attendance to a maximum of 50 persons or 25 percent of the total church population whichever is less. The order was superseded by the Democrat Governor's newly implemented law.
Two months ago, U.S. District Judge Daniel D. Domenico, an official nominated by President Donald Trump, issued a ruling on the current COVID 19 restrictions on houses of worship. He described the order as a violation of "the First Amendment's guarantee of the free exercise of religion" because they aren't neutral and don't apply to "comparable secular gatherings."
In November, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo received a court injunction that prevented him from restricting churches to conduct religious services. This was due to the new Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett recently expressing doubts on the constitutionality of the house of worship restrictions. The one-page unsigned order vacated a September court decision against church gatherings and remanded the case to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Liberty Counsel credits the Colorado Governor's move to the Supreme Court's decision to question the constitutionality of the church restrictions. Andrew Wommack Ministries, represented by the organization, commended Governor Polis' newly implemented rule.
"Governor Jared Polis is finally beginning to see the light," said Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel founder and chairman, the Christian Headlines reported.. "The Supreme Court has made it very clear that the courts and the states must begin applying the First Amendment to protect houses of worship. It is past time," he added.