Can I leave home to attend services at my church, synagogue, mosque or place of worship?

All places of worship are required to stay closed and offer remote access to their services because the Order does not allow for non-essential gatherings of any number of individuals. Many places of worship now offer remote access to their services, such as by email, video streaming, or teleconference. Further, the State of California issued a clarification of the Governor’s Order on April 17, 2020. More specifically, the State confirmed that in-person services are prohibited but clarified that “…drive-in worship services are permitted under the existing Executive Order, which expressly allows “faith based services that are provided through…other technology,” as long as the individuals engaged in such services abide by physical distancing guidelines and refrain from direct and indirect physical touching of others.”

In other words, faith-based services that are provided through streaming or other  technology including drive-in services where patrons remain in their vehicle, are considered essential under the Governor’s Order. Merced County Health Officer Orders and guidance documents can be found at: https://www.co.merced.ca.us/ DocumentCenter/View/24363/Press-Release-with-Health-Order-Amended-April-4- 2020?bidId=


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1. What is a Community Event?
2. What is a Private Event?
3. What is a “gathering”?
4. Is it safe to attend or hold a community or private event?
5. What is Social Distancing?
6. How will cancelling or postponing events help?
7. How long will these limitations on events last?
8. Can I leave home to attend services at my church, synagogue, mosque or place of worship?