CHICAGO (CBS) — Places of worship in Chicago can now reopen, but with new guidelines in-person gatherings will still be severely restricted.
The City of Chicago announced new guidelines Saturday that come as the city moves into Phase 3 of reopening. Under the new guidelines, places of worship can welcome a maximum of 50 people per room or 25 percent of the room capacity, whichever is fewer. Social distancing must also be maintained between people who do not live in the same household.
“For people of faith, worshipping together is an essential function, and I am grateful for the Chicagoans of faith who explored new ways to celebrate their beliefs virtually in the interest of the health and safety of everyone during the stay at home order,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
“If we don’t continue to take these important precautions, we could very well see a resurgence in cases that would mean more infections and more deaths,” said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady.
CDPH also recommends those who are elderly or with underlying health conditions continue to practice their faith remotely.
The city released the following protocols as part of the guidelines for reopening:
- No more than 50 individuals in a room if distancing is followed;
- Stagger ingress and egress times to avoid checkpoint crowding;
- Frequently disinfect facilities;
- Provide sanitation stations available throughout facilities;
- Wear facial coverings;
- Spread out seating by 6 feet to promote social distancing; and
- Post visual signage throughout the facility regarding hygiene, social distancing and proper PPE among others.
A full copy of the guidelines can be found on the city’s website.