The CDC, or The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention released guidelines on Friday following President Trump's public announcement of recognizing houses of worship as essential places providing essential services.
CDC recognizes the fact that many Americans consider worship as an essential factor of their lives but also warned of the risk for increasing the spread of COVID-19 with present gatherings.
The guidelines suggested by the CDC are as follows:
Face coverings for everyone over the age of 2 for the duration of services.
Social distancing with the help of tape on the floor as physical guides, one-way routes in hallways, services being held outside or in a well-ventilated area, and even additional services to ensure less dense capacity at each service. Virtual visits are recommended instead of physical visits for clergy members visiting congregants with the exception of compassionate care situations such as end of life.
CDC urges to minimize community sharing by sharing prayers, songs, and texts via individual technological devices. This is to minimize the frequency of touched objects, such as prayer rugs, prayer books, cups, etc. Respectively, donations, tithes, offerings are suggested to be collected through electronic methods instead of being physically collected.
Older adults and those who are considered high-risk are to be provided extra protection if they are physically present in the place of worship.
Ventilation of outdoor air, proper ventilation systems, and daily sanitation of touched surfaces and shared objects are also recommended by the CDC.