Washington State lifts restrictions on worship services; cites court rulings

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Citing recent high court rulings, Washington State announced Monday that it is lifting its COVID-19 restriction on the size of gatherings at indoor worship services, the Christian Post reports. Masks and social distancing are still required but, under the new regulations, the 25% capacity and 200-person limit of gatherings indoors is a recommendation rather than a mandate.

In explaining its decision, Washington State cited the cases of Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley v. Sisolak and Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo, CP reports. In the former case, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted attendance limits on houses of worship in Nevada; in the latter case the US Supreme Court voted 5-4 to lift worship restrictions in New York State.

“Because [Governor Jay Inslee] believes the attendance cap will help save lives, he is converting the required 200-person cap to a recommended cap. The Governor recognizes and respects that it is the role of the courts to say what the law is,” officials said in a statement.

“The Governor does not intend to re-impose mandatory numerical caps specific to religious services unless the Ninth Circuit or the Supreme Court clarifies the state of the law,” the statement added.

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