Bars and inside restaurant dining are banned throughout California, while indoor religious services, gyms and hair and nail salons are again off-limits in most of the state, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday in issuing a sweeping set of closures to head off surging coronavirus cases and hospitalizations…
..Newsom’s move faced immediate resistance from religious groups and business organizations. Fred Jones, attorney for the Professional Beauty Federation of California, suggested many hair salons may not comply with the order.
He said there is “no evidence that a single contagion has been spread in a salon since we’ve been allowed to reopen.”
“He should be partnering with his state licensed-professionals, not shutting us down,” Jones said.
Robbert Tyler, the attorney for California-based Advocates for Faith and Freedom, said he believes Newsom’s order on religious services is unconstitutional. While Newsom says churches can meet outdoors, Tyler said many don’t have the facilities for that.
“We have not only an economic crisis but we have a spiritual and mental health crisis that requires as much attention as COVID-19,” said Tyler, whose nonprofit organization represents churches on religious liberty issues. “To tell churches they can no longer meet indoors is just a further restriction upon the incredible services provided by churches across the state that are desperately needed.”
Newsom said restaurant dining rooms, indoor wineries, tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, and museums should close. Those that can should offer outdoor areas of service. Bars must close all operations.
And in Los Angeles:
Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer announced that the indoor closure list includes “offices for all non-critical sectors.”
That comes after the health department closed a Downtown L.A. clothing factory over the weekend after 300 of its employees became infected.
The L.A. County Health web site directs users to the state site for a definition of “essential workforce” sectors, from which one can conceivably figure out what “non-critical” sectors.
The state site says essential sectors include employees in these these categories who cannot work from home: health care providers and caregivers; emergency services sector employees, such as police and firefighters; food production, processing, and delivery; the energy sector; the water and wastewater; transportation and logistics; communications and IT; government operations; critical manufacturing of transportation products, components and machinery; financial services; chemical and hazardous services; defense; and industrial, commercials and personal sheltering services.
Stay tuned. I think we may see more of this soon.
UPDATE: The Archdiocese of Los Angeles late Monday issued the following statement:
Today, Governor Gavin Newsom announced updated Directives for 30 counties in California due to an increase in coronavirus related deaths and hospitalizations.
All three counties in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles—Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara—are included in the Directives. According to the Governor and the Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Ventura County Public Health Offices, our parishes must discontinue indoor Masses and other liturgical services, effective immediately.
Outdoor Masses and other liturgical services such as adoration and prayer services are allowed and encouraged. Parishes may continue to celebrate Confessions, First Communions, Confirmations, Funerals, and Weddings outdoors on the parish grounds. Parishioners must wear face coverings and practice social distancing, even outdoors.
Additionally, the Governor’s Directives include closures of parish offices. Parish offices are to be closed to the public. Pastors may allow a minimal number of essential parish staff members to continue working in the office provided that social distancing is observed. For example, while the office is closed to the public, parishes are encouraged to communicate regularly with parishioners, return calls to answer questions, and reassure individuals and families that our parishes are still there for them in prayer and to help with any needs they may have.
This is also a good time to remind all of our parishioners that the risk of coronavirus is real, and it is dangerous. While these Orders are discouraging and disappointing, this is the time to pray for one another, trust in Jesus, and focus on the care and love he has for each one of us.
May Jesus, through the intercession of Mary, Queen of the Angels, continue to bless our parishes and loved ones with good health, joy, and peace.