JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi Department of Health has issued updated guidance on faith-based gatherings and worship services ahead of Easter Sunday.
While they still recommend virtual or outdoor services, they also recommend that everyone 16 or older be vaccinated - even if that person has already had COVID-19.
If a church does intend to congregate indoors, MSDH advises that everyone 65 and older be fully vaccinated and that those 16 or older who are considered high-risk should also be fully vaccinated prior to attending in-person worship services.
Included in the list of other indoor protocols is asking that everyone wear a face mask at all times, remain six feet apart from those outside of their households and that attendees not gather in close groups while entering or exiting the building.
“Singing is a high-risk activity that can quickly spread viral particles,” MSDH states, preferring that there be no choirs and, if there is a choir, that it should be small and that those in the choir should stand six feet apart.
They do say that the use of hymn books or prayer books is acceptable as long as congregants practice “proper hand hygiene upon entering.”