Gov. Tate Reeves released social distancing and sanitation guidelines for in-person worship services to safely resume across Mississippi. 

Consulting with Dr. Thomas Dobbs and state health officials, Reeves developed guidelines for worship leaders and their congregations to join together to practice their faiths while continuing to help protect public health and flatten the curve.

 “I’ll just say this as a personal point: My family is likely going to continue worshiping from home for a while,” Reeves said. “The church is not a building. We can honor our Lord and keep our neighbors safe. You don’t need to rush back. We do want to provide a playbook for how to do it safely, when pastors determine the time is right.”

The guidelines include steps to prepare houses of worship, plan for logistics and worship programming, and direct staff and worship leadership on social distancing protocols. 

Churches and places of worship were deemed an essential business or operation and were never instructed to close, though they were encouraged to offer services online and remotely to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the governor noted.

Reeves’ announcement from Tuesday’s press briefing can be viewed on his Facebook page.

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