Gov. John Carney allows places of worship to hold in-person services with strict guidelines in place


Governor John Carney announced Monday that churches and other places of worship can hold in-person services in Delaware with 30 percent occupancy and strict social distancing guidelines in place. However, virtual services are encouraged.

“All of Delaware’s restrictions – including those inside our churches and other houses of worship – are intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” said Gov. Carney. “I know it’s difficult. Practicing your faith is a fundamental right. But Delawareans who are at higher risk should not attend in-person services. Do your best to practice your faith virtually. Wear a cloth face covering if you attend an in-person service. Remain at least six feet away from others. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Now’s not the time for Delawareans to let up.”


High-risk people, including those over 65 years old, and anyone who is sick should not attend in-person services. Anyone 13 years old or older must wear a face covering. Children 2 years old and younger should not wear a face covering due to risk of suffocation.

Service or gathering times must be staggered to permit cleaning of public spaces between services, in accordance with guidance from DPH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Exchange of materials of any kind during services is strongly discouraged. Baptisms, weddings and funerals are permitted if the services can follow precautions in the updated guidance.

Under the stay-at-home order, churches and other houses of worship are essential, but must adhere to basic safety precautions.

Delaware health officials have reported 7,869 cases of coronavirus, with 297 virus-related deaths as of Monday afternoon.


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