Long Beach Update Allows Indoor In-Person Religious Services and Ceremonies

Worship Center
From Councilwoman Suzie Price

The City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services issued an updated Health Order, effective immediately, allowing indoor in-person religious services and cultural ceremonies to resume, with restrictions, to align with recent changes to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy Purple Tier issued by California Governor Gavin Newsom. 

An overview of the revised Health Order includes: 

Religious Services and Cultural Ceremonies:
  • Places of worship, including churches, mosques, synagogues and temples, and cultural ceremonies such as wedding and funerals may resume indoor in-person services, limited to 25 percent maximum indoor capacity.
  • Singing, chanting and other practices and performances are prohibited for indoor gatherings, as there is a significant increase in COVID-19 transmission with these activities. These activities also are strongly discouraged during outdoor gatherings.
  • Service of food and/or beverages, potlucks and family-style eating and drinking events remain prohibited.

Restaurants and hotels hosting weddings and funerals are still required to host events outdoors only, in accordance with State guidelines. 

While indoor in-person services may resume, it is critical that all possible steps be taken to limit the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of everybody in the community. People participating in the above-mentioned indoor activities should remain vigilant in practicing physical distancing to the maximum extent possible, wear a face covering whenever in a public place, and frequently wash hands and sanitize high-touch surfaces. 

The State of California issued the interim guidance for religious services and cultural ceremonies to align with changes to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and in response to a recent decision of the United States Supreme Court.  The updated Health Order also was amended to align with State of California guidelines for re-opening in-person instruction for K-12 schools. Schools in the City of Long Beach may reopen K-6 classrooms for in-person instruction once Los Angeles County reaches certain requirements within the Purple Tier (a case rate of fewer than 25 cases per 100,000 at least 5 consecutive days). The City of Long Beach remains in the purple, and most restrictive, tier of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, and therefore is subject to certain restrictions to help limit further transmission of COVID-19. The color-coded tier system allows for reopening based on case numbers per 100,000 population and the positivity rate among people who have taken COVID-19 tests.

The updated Health Order is being put in place by the City Health Officer, Dr. Anissa Davis, and in accordance with the Emergency Powers granted to the City Manager through the Proclamation of Local Emergency. It is effective immediately beginning today, Wednesday, Feb. 10, until it is extended, rescinded or amended in writing by the Health Officer. If you have questions please feel free to contact my office any time at (562)570-6300 or by email at district3@longbeach.gov.