Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves told Newsmax TV on Wednesday that church pastors will be the ones to decide whether they can safely resume in-person religious services as the state begins reopening.
The governor noted that the state deemed churches essential services early on, but said his office contacted religious leaders to ask them to consider calling off in-person services due to the coronavirus pandemic. This week, his office released new guidelines that allow in-person services to resume with safety conditions in place.
“We said, ‘OK, if we’re going to reopen in-person church services based upon a pastor-by-pastor decision, then here are safe ways in which to do it.’”
Reeves said the state’s safer-at-home order likely will be extended “to some extent, mainly just because of the guidelines that we have in place on many of the industries that are open. So, when we open barbers and salon shops, for instance, we had a very detailed plan whereby you could open a shop, because small business owners badly needed it and a lot of us needed haircut . . . But also we want to do it in a way that was safe, that protected Mississippians and also protected those business owners.
He added that the state decides guidelines “almost by an industry-by-industry basis, where we are ensuring that we are protecting the not only the lives of Mississippians, but also considering protecting the livelihood of Mississippians.”
Theodore Bunker ✉
Theodore Bunker, a Newsmax writer, has more than a decade covering news, media, and politics.
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