County reminds residents to observe religious practices at home

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County reminds residents to observe religious practices at home
The shelter-in-place order has prompted faith organizations to go virtual with their services.

Contra Costa Health Services posted a reminder to residents today to observe their faiths at home during Easter weekend, as the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order remains in effect.

The health order aiming to prevent the spread of the virus requires residents “to stay home except for essential trips, such as to find food, healthcare or to provide care for someone who cannot leave their home, or to go to and from an essential job,” through May 3, the County said.

The County said it recognizes this time period is important for religious observation, as it includes Good Friday, Holy Week, Orthodox Easter, Passover, Ramadan, and others.

County officials point out that suspending in-person gatherings does not mean suspending worship, as organizations are being conducted virtually via livestream or recorded services.

The Standard’s recent report, Keeping the Faith in Richmond, revealed many in the community have already engaged in online services.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives, and we empathize with anyone who is unable to practice their religious traditions and celebrations as usual during this challenging time,” Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County Health Officer, said in the statement. “However, to protect everyone in the community, we must avoid gatherings outside of one’s immediate household to reduce the spread of the virus.”

Learn more about COVID-19 in Contra Costa County, including the how to protect yourself, at cchealth.org/coronavirus, or call the Contra Costa Coronavirus Call Center with questions at 1-844-729-8410. The call center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.