Precautions important while attending church

In the minds of many, among the most abrasive orders issued by many governors in order to combat COVID-19 were those that in-person church services had to be suspended.

Like many of the complainers elsewhere, we West Virginians tend to be sensitive regarding religion. Even many of those who do not consider themselves faithful recognize that freedom of religion is a basic right.

But here, Gov. Jim Justice never issued a lockdown order for churches. He relied instead on strong recommendations for social distancing, limits on crowd sizes and similar measures.

Most church leaders suspended in-person, in-church services on their own. Their congregations supported them, for the most part.

Now, however, Justice’s relaxation of other restrictions has led some churches to resume welcoming the faithful into their sanctuaries. Unfortunately, that may be a problem.

On Wednesday, Justice noted there have been “at least four church-related outbreaks” of COVID-19. “Take heed and be a little careful,” he urged.

It is good advice. Steps such as social distancing and use of face masks can make church attendance safer — especially for older members. We encourage those in churches already open as well as those planning to resume services to be careful. No one wants to have to say prayers for new victims of the virus.


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