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Local Restrictions Social Distancing Guidelines Still Apply to Churches

April 2nd, 2020 by Jake Stofan

Governor Ron DeSantis’ safer at home order takes effect at midnight Friday and while it directs most Floridians to stay inside, there are some notable exceptions.

One includes attendance of religious services.

Governor Ron DeSantis, a devout Catholic, keeps a bottle of holy water on his desk.

It was there when he announced the statewide safer at home order.

“You know at this point, I think even though there’s a lot of places in Florida that have very low infection rates, it makes sense to make this move now,” said DeSantis.

Reverend Joseph Parramore of New Journey Ministries said prayer is essential for many in these trying times.

“It’s our faith, it’s our hope, it’s our belief in a greater good,” said Parramore.

But that doesn’t mean he’ll be filling the pews anytime soon.

“We’re not doing services and have not been doing services, nor have any of our affiliates been doing services,” said Parramore.

Strict measures in Tampa led to the arrest of a pastor who ignored the local restrictions by holding a large service this past Sunday.

Those local ordinances won’t be impacted by the Governor’s executive order.

And while churches will still have the option of meeting in person, Reverend Parramore recommends they consider alternatives.

“Life is more important than the risk of exposing anyone to COVID-19,” said Parramore.

The Catholic Church, which makes up 26 percent of the state’s population, suspended in-person services as early as March 20th opting to conduct mass online.

And under the executive order those churches holding in-person services would still need to comply with CDC guidelines.

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