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New guidelines for Minnesota places of worship

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC) -- Following new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Friday, Gov. Tim Walz is announcing new guidelines for places of worship that decide to open.

According to the governor's office, starting May 27, places of worship may open at 25 percent occupancy if they adhere to social distancing and other public health guidelines to keep congregants safe.

“I have had many meaningful conversations with faith leaders over the last few weeks,” Governor Walz said in an email news release. “From a personal and public health perspective, the decision around places of worship has been a challenging one since the beginning of the pandemic. We know large gatherings of people raise the risk of spreading COVID-19. We also know worship is an essential part of many Minnesotans’ lives, including mine.”

The new guidelines are detailed in Executive Order 20-62. According to the Executive Order, places of worship, funeral homes, and other venues that offer gathering space for weddings, funerals, and planned services such as worship, rituals, prayer meetings, scripture studies, may host such services with over 10 people, provided that they adhere to the below requirements:

  • In all settings, ensure a minimum of 6 feet of physical distancing between households.
  • In indoor settings, occupancy must not exceed 25 percent of the normal occupant capacity as determined by the fire marshal, with a maximum of 250 people in a single self-contained space.
  • In outdoor settings, gatherings must not exceed 250 individuals.
  • Develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in accordance with guidance developed by the Minnesota Department of Health and available here,
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