California Gov. Newsom Bans Singing In Churches

Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued new coronavirus orders Wednesday that ban singing in churches or other places of worship.

The state’s Department of Public Health did not return the state to a complete religious lockdown but ordered those of all faiths to “discontinue singing and chanting activities,” the Sacramento Bee reported.

California’s Governor Gavin Newsom speaks to the media after casting his vote at a voting center at The California Museum for the presidential primaries on Super Tuesday in Sacramento, CA U.S., March 3, 2020. REUTERS/Gabriela Bhaskar

When California allowed places of worship to reopen at 25% capacity after loosening restrictions on the coronavirus lockdown in late May, the state suggested participants refrain from “singing and chanting activities” but did not insist they do so.

It’s now saying “Activities such as singing and chanting negate the risk reduction achieved through six feet of physical distancing,” according to the Bee. Religious sites also have to have face masks available for those who don’t bring one to the service.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has said that singing and shouting are no different than coughing or sneezing in promoting the spread of the COVID-19 virus in confined spaces.

Newsom has slowed the state’s reopening after a rebound in the coronavirus and recently halted a plan to allow indoor dining in restaurants. He ordered all citizens to wear face masks in public places in June.

People gather near Huntington Beach Pier to protest Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order to temporarily close state and local beaches in Orange County, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Huntington Beach, California, U.S., May 1, 2020. REUTERS/Kyle Grillot

Newsom issued a stay-at-home order in March while asking the federal government for almost $1 billion to build more hospitals and clinics. He faced some opposition when one county reopened its economy in defiance of the governor’s edict.

California has the dubious distinction of having the first coronavirus case in the United States: an infected person was discovered in the state’s Santa Clara County in late January.

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