California officials will release guidelines to begin reopening places of worship on Monday at the latest, Govin Newsom said in a Friday discovery, but stopped providing a direct timeline for when those could be welcomed. church parishioners.
Newsom’s office was talking to leaders of the faith throughout the country last week, he said, from megachlesia to churches in the neighborhood.
“It is very important for people to understand that we deeply understand, admire, the devotion of faith,” Newsom said, adding, “We look forward to the churches reopening in a safe and responsible way.”
The comments came about an hour after President Donald Trump considered places of worship as important and threatened “override”; governors if they refused to allow churches to open ‘now,’ though it was unclear if he has the authority to do so.
The Center for Disease Control released a new guide for houses of worship around Friday afternoon. Last week, the CDC prepared a draft of the reopening guidelines that included measures such as maintaining distance between parishioners and limiting the size of assemblies. But that guidance was delayed for more than a month by the administration until Trump abruptly dropped the course and ordered the agency Thursday to remove the guidelines.
Already, places of worship up and down California – including in Oakland and elsewhere in the Bay Area – have pushed back against Newsom with plans to start personal services beginning May 31. Large gatherings including church services are not included in state guidance for the first two stages of reopening.
Failure at various reopening hours in California is especially in the hard Area. As of Friday, Bay Area counties have reopened the retail on curbside after following Newsom’s early phase of two guidelines that began May 8. The region is slower to join Newsom’s guidance than other parts of California, including San Francisco, San Mateo, Contra Costa and Alameda counties do not follow suit until Monday, and Santa Clara joins Friday.
In response to questions about why restrictions on church services could be alleviated while other types of gatherings remain barriers, Newsom said the opening process was “iterative.”
“All of this is about to change – every single point of reference, specific and universal, has been shown in the shelter-in-place,” he said. “By definition, this is not a permanent state.”
The Associated Press and Robert Salonga contributed to this report.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.