New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, announced late Saturday that churches are no longer exempt from the state’s ban on mass gatherings.
That means churches across the state will not be allowed to have any sort of Easter Sunday service on their campuses. The governor did say that churches would be permitted to broadcast services online.
“I am so grateful for the support and cooperation from the vast majority of religious leaders of all faiths who have already made the difficult decision to cancel services in the interest of the health and safety of their members,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “I understand the tremendous social and spiritual burden this places on New Mexicans, but ultimately, we must do everything we can to limit the spread of COVID-19, including being absolutely clear that mass gatherings of any type are not permitted in houses of worship.”
Citizens were alerted to the cancellation of Easter services via the state’s emergency alert system. A reader sent me a screenshot of the message he received.
“Churches, synagogues, mosques, and all other houses of worship shall adhere to this restriction, but nothing in this order is intended to preclude these faith-based institutions from holding services through audiovisual means,” the order read.