DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The Colorado Department of Public Health has given places of worship the go-ahead to reopen immediately in Douglas County.
Those variance requests, approved Saturday, allow restaurants, gyms, and places of worship to reopen with tight restrictions.
Churches will be required to meet certain requirements, including proper social distancing between families.
Given the short notice, churches like Calvary Castle Rock are choosing to remain closed to in-person worship on Sunday.
Calvary has decided to hold one final drive-in service at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.
Pastor Dave Love says his team is already working to create a safe space for in-person worshiping next week.
“Knowing we’re back on track to do that, is a tremendous blessing for the church and God’s people,” says Love.
Saturday afternoon, crews spent time removing chairs and creating space between aisles in the chapel.
“We’ve separated the seats, we’ve posted signage everywhere,” says Love. “We’re going to be placing arrows on the floor to show everyone how to come in, go out.”
Love says the new set up will allow for about 80 people to worship in person. He says churches that have opened in other states have seen low turnout, with many preferring to remain home for the time being.
Baptisms will need to be done in chlorinated water, and bibles will be removed from the pews to eliminate cross-contamination.
The CDPHE is asking Douglas County churches to continue online or drive-up services as much as possible. Those with underlying health issues, and people who are sick are asked to stay home.
“We have families with young kids, better for them to stay home,” says Love. “Same with those who are more susceptible to this virus, we want you to stay home, and stay safe.”
Calvary will continue live-streaming services for the foreseeable future, to ensure those who want to stay home can do so.
“We don’t want to be problem, we want to be a help to the community,” says Love.
The full list of requirements can be seen on the Douglas County website.