California bans singing in places of worship amid pandemic

California

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — As coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in California, the state has temporarily banned singing in all places of worship, CNN reports.

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“Practices and performances present an increased likelihood for transmission of COVID-19 through contaminated exhaled droplets and should occur through alternative methods like internet streaming,” the state’s Department of Public Health announced in an order earlier this week.

In a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers found coronavirus spread from one member to 87% of singers at a Washington choir practice.

“The act of singing, itself, might have contributed to transmission through emission of aerosols, which is affected by loudness of vocalization,” the agency said.

Health officials still recommend places of worship conduct remote services, although in-person services are permitted in California in accordance with guidelines.

Among the guidelines are staff and visitor temperature checks, shortening service times, and discouraging the use of shared items such as prayer books and cushions.

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