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Gov. Inslee allows religious services to resume in Washington with restrictions

Gov. Jay Inslee is allowing religious services to resume either outdoors or indoors depending on that county's phase of reopening.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Jay Inslee announced Wednesday that religious services can resume in Washington with some restrictions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For counties under Phase 1 of Gov. Inslee’s Safe Start plan, outdoor religious services can be held on the organization’s property with up to 100 individuals in attendance. People must maintain six feet of physical distance between each other and wear facial coverings.

Counties under Phase 2 can now resume indoor religious services at 25% capacity, or with fewer than 50 people, and attendees must practice social distancing and wear facial coverings. Frequently touched surfaces must be cleaned and sanitized often and personal protective equipment, as well as educational materials about the prevention and spread of coronavirus, must be provided to employees.

Credit: Gov. Inslee

RELATED: All Washington counties 'will probably not' reopen on June 1, state says

These outdoor and indoor services can be held multiple times a day if necessary.

Under Phase 2, in-home religious services or counseling at a person’s residence can also resume with no more than five total individuals and all people should wear facial coverings.

Gov. Inslee is also asking places of worship to keep a voluntary log of people who attend services to help with contact tracing if an outbreak does occur.

These new guidelines refer to all religious and/or worship services, including religious ceremonies, weddings, and funerals. 

Much of the state is currently in Phase 1 of Gov. Inslee’s Safe Start plan and health experts have said it’s unlikely that all of Washington will move to Phase 2 by June 1.

Gov. Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order is currently in effect through May 31.

RELATED: Phases of reopening: Half of Washington's counties enter Phase 2