Mississippi Churches Given Easter Warning: “Singing Is A High-Risk Activity”
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As Easter weekend approaches, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) released a lengthy guide with practices people should follow while worshiping God at church.
At the beginning of March, Gov. Tate Reeves lifted all state-imposed mask mandates, but the state’s health department isn’t done issuing guidance for the public.
While they can’t officially force churchgoers to follow their rules, the MSDH releasing a public statement like this shows how the government still wants to control public life, even after mask mandates are lifted by governors.
One of the more absurd points in the list is that the MSDH calls singing a “high-risk activity that can quickly spread viral particles.”
I guess singing ‘Amazing Grace’ is dangerous now?
Also, the list talks about taking communion. It says “alternatives to shared cups for communion should be pursued.”
What’s most frustrating is that the government doesn’t trust individuals or churches to make their own decisions. Instead, many state health departments want to be involved in every aspect of your life.
- Everyone 65 years of age or older should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to attending in-person worship services (full vaccination is considered two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine, or two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine).
- Anyone 16 or older with high-risk medical conditions should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to attending in-person worship services (two weeks after completing vaccination).
- Indoor safety guidance:
- All congregants should wear a face mask at all times during in-person services.
- All congregants should maintain six feet of separation from persons outside of their household. Household members may sit together.
- Congregants should not gather in close groups while entering or exiting the building.
- Congregants should use hand sanitizer prior to or upon entry of the building.
- Singing is a high-risk activity that can quickly spread viral particles. It is preferable to not have choirs; however, if choirs are performing, they should be small in number, masked, and separated by six feet.
- Those in classroom settings such as Sunday school or study groups should maintain six feet of separation and wear a mask at all times.
- As appropriate, alternatives to shared cups for communion should be pursued.
- The use of hymn books or prayer books is acceptable so long as congregants practice proper hand hygiene upon entering.
- Additional procedures to protect congregants are encouraged based on local congregation leadership decisions.