COVID: Los Angeles County warns places of worship to hold services outdoors

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles County officials on Friday continued to warn places of worship to only hold services outside amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Health officials say congregations holding gatherings indoors are defying county orders and will soon be sent violation notices.

Officials say holding services indoors puts congregations and the surrounding community at risk.

Catholic churchgoers attend 'mass on the grass' in Woodland Hills after indoor services shut down amid pandemic
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Some Catholic churches offer an outdoor 'mass on the grass' to help worshipers keep the faith during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking to reporters in an online news briefing on Thursday, the county's public health officer stressed that large gatherings are generally barred under coronavirus health orders, but there are exceptions allowing outdoor church services and political protests -- as long as attendees wear face coverings and practice social distancing.

"Unfortunately we've heard reports of some faith organizations operating outside of those health and safety requirements,'' Dr. Muntu Davis said. "From a health and safety perspective this is of great concern given the large number of COVID-19 cases that continue to be diagnosed in Los Angeles County. I want to express my gratitude to those organizations that are adhering to the health officer order and who have found ways to worship that do not put the wider community and their congregation at risk."

City News Service contributed to this report.
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