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NEW "Stay at Home" order!
With the multiple recent COVID-19 restrictions announced by the Ontario Government, there are many questions being raised - what do these changes mean for churches in regards to having services inside their buildings?
For the April 3rd restrictions (enforced at 12:01 am on April 3rd, 2021), the Ontario Government stated that in-building services are further restricted to 15% of the room capacity.
Weddings, funerals and other religious services, rites or ceremonies
For weddings, funerals and other religious services, rites or ceremonies:
physical distancing must be maintained
guests must wear masks or face coverings
indoors: 15% capacity of the room
outside: the number of people that can maintain two metres physical distance from each other
Drive-in services, rites or ceremonies permitted, subject to certain conditions.
As of April 8th, 2021 at 12:01 am, the Ontario Government added further restrictions to retail, work places, and other parts of the Ontario economy, but there are no mentions of further restrictions for churches and religious services.
Apr 7th Ontario Gov announcement : https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/61029/ontario-enacts-provincial-emergency-and-stay-at-home-order
Apr 3rd Ontario Gov announcement : https://www.ontario.ca/page/enhancing-public-health-and-workplace-safety-measures-provincewide-shutdown
Online newspaper outlets are also adding FAQ’s to their sites that are sharing their interpretations of the current state of these restrictions. In these FAQ’s, they also say that there are no changes to the restrictions on churches and religious services.
In talking with someone who works for the Province, all that changed was what was added. What was not mentioned, did not change from the last “Emergency Brake” order. Religious services was at 15% and stays at 15%. The reason given is because people value it and it benefits mental health.
Toronto CTVNews did a great job answering top questions about this new "stay at home" order: https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/answers-to-top-questions-about-ontario-s-new-stay-at-home-order-1.5378157
So to clarify... Our government has deemed church to be an essential service. And that means... CHURCH IS OPEN! We will have service at 15% capacity, which is 54 people in the sanctuary space but we have capped it at 50. Be sure to register each week, all of April is posted on our events page of our website.
At this moment, our blessing services are also continuing, be sure to register for those. Details are available on our Facebook Events page. Come prepared this Sunday afternoon to pray over Demi and Kay and the baby girl who is about to arrive!
The protocols we have been adhering to also continue. Be sure to wear a mask or face-shield before you enter the building and use the hand sanitizer at the entrance. If you have recently been out of the country or not feeling well, or exposed to someone who has tested positive, please join us online from your home.
See you Sunday (before) 10:30am!
Thank you for your Support!
Online Study with Pastor Dave