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Alameda County Public Health Reminds Residents to Observe Religious Practices at Home during Shelter in Place Order

Date Posted: April 10th, 2020 @ 12:44 PM
Last Updated: April 10th, 2020 @ 12:47 PM

Alameda County Public Health reminds the public that the Shelter-in-Place Order prohibits gatherings and directs individuals to stay home, except for essential activities. The Order remains in effect through May 3rd and affects religious events that are occurring throughout this month.

To protect the health of the community, the Order does not allow for gatherings outside of one’s immediate household. These measures, while disruptive, help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by limiting opportunities for people to spread the disease to others unknowingly. Recent evidence suggests that people may be able to transmit COVID-19 up to two days before they show any symptoms.

The Order impacts observances where gatherings usually take place, including Holy Week and Easter, Passover, Orthodox Easter, Ramadan and other religious practices. Congregation leaders and religious organizations should close in-person services and should not bring large groups of people together while the Order is in effect.

It is important to emphasize that suspension of in-person gatherings is not a suspension of worship. To support people worshipping together, please consider internet- or phone-based services, and avoid inperson gatherings like “drive-in” services. “We strongly support our community staying socially connected while maintaining physical distancing during this difficult time,” said Dr. Erica Pan, Interim Health Officer, Alameda County Public Health Department. “We wish you all safe celebrations and thank you for helping us to flatten the curve.”

Staying at home, washing hands frequently, covering your face when you do need to leave home for essential activities, and maintaining 6-feet distance between you and others are still the best ways to curb the spread of coronavirus.

For more information on COVID-19, visit http://www.acphd.org/2019-ncov.aspx. Visit https://covid19.acgov.org/index.page for Frequently Asked Question about the Shelter-in-Place Order.