June 12, 2020
The City of Chicago has released new guidelines for organizations to hold in-person religious services. Under the new guidelines, a maximum of 50 people can attend in-person services per room as long as the recommended six feet social distancing between individuals not of the same household can be maintained. Houses of worship will also need to ensure that they protect congregants by maintaining healthy interactions, safe spaces and conditions, and operational resiliency and travel guidelines.
The Chicago Dept. of Public Health also recommends residents who are elderly or with underlying health conditions continue to practice their faith remotely, through services on television, radio or online, until the COVID-19 data supports new guidance.
Emergency Action Averted Over 500M COVID-19 Infections
Emergency health measures implemented in six major countries have “significantly and substantially slowed” the spread of COVID-19, according to research from a University of California Berkeley team published in the journal Nature.
In the first peer-reviewed analysis of local, regional and national policies, the researchers found that travel restrictions, business and school closures, shelter-in-place orders and other non-pharmaceutical interventions averted about 530 million COVID-19 infections across the U.S., China, Italy, France, Iran and South Korea in the study period ending April 6. Of these infections, 62 million would likely have been confirmed cases, given limited testing in each country. In the U.S. alone, the study indicates emergency measures averted 4.8 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and 60 million total cases.