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Faith Ministry Stories

Be Well Message, March 16, 2021

Posted by Be Well Team on

COVID-19 Restrictions

Last Friday, Governor Tim Walz announced the easing of a number of restrictions that had been in place to lessen the spread of COVID-19. The new guidance becomes effective at noon today. Occupancy limits for faith services including weddings and funerals have been removed, but capacity must still be adjusted to allow for social distancing. Restrictions have also eased for receptions, celebrations and private social gatherings, according to this snapshot from the Department of Health:



This, however, does NOT mean that worship or other activities that take place in our faith communities are “back to normal.”

Please take time to read the Governor’s Emergency Executive Order 21-11 from March 12; you’ll see such clarifications such as:

·    Masks and face coverings are still required.

·    Places of worship, funeral homes, and other venues that offer gathering space for wedding ceremonies, funeral services, or other planned services such as worship, rituals, prayer meetings, or scripture studies are strongly encouraged to offer virtual alternatives to the maximum extent possible. These venues are still required to have and follow a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in accordance with guidance available on the Stay Safe Minnesota website.

·    Congregational singing, group singing or chanting by attendees is not recommended for indoor settings. See www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/musicguide.pdf, page 6.

·    Drive-in gatherings are encouraged, following the Stay Safe Minnesota guidance.

·    Indoor social gatherings are discouraged, but gatherings up to 15 people indoors or 50 people outdoors are permitted, assuming adherence to Stay Safe Minnesota precautions.

·    Remote work is still strongly recommended. Until mid-April, employees who can work from home must work from home. Beginning April 15, employers are strongly encouraged to allow employees who can work from home to continue to do so.


More information may be found on the Stay Safe Minnesota website, including guidance specific to places of worship. However, please note that as of this writing, some items have not yet been updated on state websites. Be sure to check the posting date of any references to ensure you’re seeing the most current version.