On December 15th, California issued a new mask policy that will be in effect until January 15th of 2022. The new policy requires masks indoors regardless of vaccination status. However, there are some exceptions, as places of worship are exempted from the mandate.
The California Department of Public Health said that you do not need to have a mask on if you are vaccinated and in a place of worship even though the recent mandate was for masks to be worn indoors. Here in San Diego, churches like The Rock Church are giving people the option to take their masks off. Many who attended services at The Rock were grateful that the church gave them the option, “I’m also grateful that The Rock allows us to be at our own comfort level. People can wear masks like myself without judgments,” said Diana Cohen who attends The Rock. Some churches, like the Shield of Faith Family Church in Fontana, will recommend that worshippers wear masks, “ I’m not looking for an excuse to break the law or be above the law. I don’t mind complying for a month.” said Pastor Patrick Scales. Scales did say that while his church will comply with the mandate, he understands the frustrations of another mandate, “ I just think it’s getting out of control now. What’s going to happen with the next mutation? Where does it end?” While places of worship may be exempt, that may not stop the mask police from strong arming places of worship to implement their own mask mandate.
Even though places of worship are exempted, places like The Rock are still accommodating for those who do not want to be inside or in a crowded setting, such as offering outside mass along with virtual, “We just want people to gather in a place they feel safe. We believe we’ve put in all the measures we can to provide a safe place to worship,” said Executive Director of Operations at The Rock Church Lisa Penberthy. Hopefully, this mandate will be over in a month but as of right now, many places seem to be ignoring the recent mandate.
Photo Cred: The Rock Church