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Gov. Reeves needs to clarify his order

Gov. Tate Reeves should clarify his shelter-in-place order in regard to whether church meetings of more than 10 people are prohibited.

Last week, Reeves issued a statewide shelter-in-place order but the order is vague when it comes to churches.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has asked that people avoid gatherings of 10 or more people. Reeves’ order should address that when it comes to churches.

The Rev. Stanley Searcy Sr., pastor of New Hope the Vision Center Missionary Baptist Church, which is located in Adams County, held a Palm Sunday service with some 250 members present. That service included communion and the passing of a collection plate.

When asked about his order and Searcy’s church service in a Monday press conference, Reeves first said he did not think the government could limit church services. He then said he thinks the meeting violated his order “of keeping folks from being in groups of larger than 10 people.”

Which is it?

Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten, who is a member of Searcy’s church, said he could not enforce the order because of the vague wording and Reeves’ conflicting statements. Most churches in the Miss-Lou are doing the right thing and following the spirit of the order, not only for the health of their church members, but also for the health of the community as a whole.

Instead of holding large, in-person services, most churches are streaming services on the internet or holding drive-in services in which people do not get out of their cars.

We encourage people to avoid live church services regardless of government orders.

Medical experts and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control say social distancing and staying out of crowds of 10 or more people is your best protection against contracting the virus and helping limit the spread of COVID-19.

The sooner we all follow the stay at home order, the sooner this virus will be under control and the sooner businesses can re-open and the sooner our lives can return to some semblance of normalcy.

This Easter Sunday, we encourage everyone to worship with their families in small groups or to tune in to one of the many churches that are streaming their services online.

That is the safe way to worship this Easter Sunday.

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