What Pastors (and Priests) should know about The White House Plan to Open Up America Again

What Pastors (and Priests) should know about The White House Plan to Open Up America Again

WHAT PASTORS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE WHITE HOUSE PLAN TO OPEN UP AMERICA AGAIN

The White House plan, “Opening Up America Again,” allows for states and localities to progressively relax restrictions
through three phases of opening up, based on the state or locality meeting certain criteria to proceed to the next
phase. This plan will mitigate the risk of resurgence and at the same time protect the most vulnerable, and can be
implemented on a statewide or county-by-county basis at the governor’s discretion.

While everyone should read through the whole plan, these sections are relevant to in-person church meetings:

PHASE ONE

• All vulnerable people (including the elderly and people with underlying health conditions) should
continue to shelter in place.
• “Avoid socializing in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for
appropriate physical distancing (e.g., receptions, trade shows).”
• “Large venues (e.g., sit-down dining, movie theaters, sporting venues, places of worship) can operate
under strict physical distancing protocols.”
• “Minimize non-essential travel and adhere to CDC guidelines regarding isolation following travel”
(relevant where authorities have not designated religious activities/travel as “essential”).

PHASE TWO

• All vulnerable people should continue to shelter in place.
• “Social settings of more than 50 people, where appropriate distancing may not be practical, should
be avoided unless precautionary measures are observed.”
• “Large venues (e.g., sit-down dining, movie theaters, sporting venues, places of worship) can
operate under moderate physical distancing protocols.”
• “Non-essential travel can resume” (relevant where authorities have not designated
religious activities/travel as “essential”).

PHASE THREE

• “Vulnerable individuals can resume public interactions, but should practice physical distancing,
minimizing exposure to social settings where distancing may not be practical, unless precautionary
measures are observed.”
• “Low-risk populations should consider minimizing time spent in crowded environments.”
• “Large venues (e.g., sit-down dining, movie theaters, sporting venues, places of worship) can
operate under limited physical distancing protocols.”

Regarding church staffing, churches should look to the separate guidelines in the White House plan for employers.
Throughout this process, pastors should stay flexible and aware of the approach their state and local governments
are taking. For a list of FRC’s guidelines for churches to consider when reopening, see our resource: “Guidelines for Reopening Your Church.”

Family Research Council

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