LA County health officials: Don’t attend closed religious services, no matter what the judge says

Los Angeles County public health officials are urging residents to avoid participating in religious services, despite recent court decisions that overturned these bans on indoor worship.

The order comes as California overcomes 2 million COVID-19 cases, according to government data. Religious services have become a point of contention, as county officials have issued blocking orders and some places of worship have been opened in defiance.

“No matter what a High Court judge says and considering what is happening now, it is just too risky to meet indoors with other people who don’t live with you,” the LA County Department of Public Health said Thursday. in a statement.


The county reversed its ban on indoor worship over the weekend after a Supreme Court decision sided with a Southern California church that challenged the restrictions.

About 14,000 Los Angeles County residents test positive for coronavirus each day, the Department of Public Health said. In addition, crowded hospitals are admitting 1,000 positive COVID-19 patients daily, and capacity in intensive care units is dangerously low.

As of Thursday, the municipality had 355 ICU beds available, according to data.

“Now, unfortunately, it is not the time to participate in closed religious services,” health officials said in a statement. “Los Angeles County is in the midst of its biggest COVID-19 case spike. Local emergency rooms and hospitals are full. And there is no indication of an end in sight for the current increase.”

Authorities have asked people to worship at outdoor services or through a streaming service.

Worshipers gather for a Christmas Eve Mass inside a Los Angeles church.  (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

Worshipers gather for a Christmas Eve Mass inside a Los Angeles church. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)


In a statement, Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministries said they would continue to fight Governor Gavin Newsom’s restrictions that affect other locations in Southern California.

“The option to attend church at the house of God is a sacred right that we intend to protect for our family and friends,” said the statement on the group’s website. “We are offering people the option of continuing to watch our services online and, for those who do not have symptoms or health risks, we also offer the option of meeting in person.”