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Churches pass on Holcomb's authorizing of in-person services

NOW: Churches pass on Holcomb’s authorizing of in-person services

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Many northern Indiana spiritual leaders are hesitant to open their doors to congregants, even though the Governor’s office has authorized in-person services to resume Friday, citing health concerns.

Catholic masses won’t resume until at least Memorial Day weekend, and other denominations are following suit as well, heeding advice of health experts.

Methodist pastors in the South Bend area confirmed to ABC 57 Thursday that in-person services won’t resume until at least June.

St. Joseph County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Mark Fox said dialogue was shared between churches and the county health department for whether to welcome members back in.

“Gathering in public, especially in a large crowd, increases one’s risk and increases the risk of exposure,” Fox said.
“And so I think people shouldn’t (take) that lightly.”

Pastors like Davy Troxel of Grace Brethren Church said his church chooses to play it safe for the safety of its congregants.

“We have to be very sensitive to people’s ages and how they feel about it,” Troxel said.
“We have the whole gamut of people’s opinions on what’s going on and how to handle it, so we have to be careful. So we’re kind of taking it really deeply and entering back in sort of a little later maybe than some churches are. Meanwhile we’ll meet on Facebook.”

Fox also mentioned one way the virus could spread faster in churches is through droplets from singing - further expressing concerns with the governor’s easing of restrictions.

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