Milwaukee health leaders issue guidance to reduce COVID-19 risk as religious centers reopen

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – Milwaukee city and religious leaders joined local health experts on Friday, June 26 for a virtual Q&A session on COVID-19.

The goal is to help give guidance on how to reduce the risk of the virus as some people return to in-person religious services.

The Milwaukee Health Department created a tool-kit for religious leaders.

As of 11 a.m. on June 26, the city remained in Phase 3 of reopening which allows for in-person religious services at 25 percent capacity. Leaders say the city may soon move into Phase 4 which would allow for 50 percent capacity.

Health experts are still encouraging everyone to wear face masks, socially distance and continue practicing good hygiene. They also say it would be good to keep services shorter to reduce possible exposure time and to allow fresh air into the space.

Progressive Baptist Church Pastor Walter Lanier was on the call and said the desire to reopen his church for in-person services is there, but they will not rush to do so.

“Consistency in that discipline is critical because as leaders we’ve got an obligation to create a space that is safe for us to worship,” he said.

The Health Department also says it would be helpful if religious centers recorded who attended in-person services so they can keep track of any possible spread.

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