LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Investigators are looking into reports of religious institutions in Los Angeles County that continue to hold indoor services despite coronavirus restrictions barring such gatherings, officials revealed Thursday.
Los Angeles County’s health officer Dr. Muntu Davis said notices will be issued to any offenders who are in violation of health orders banning large gatherings.
Speaking to reporters online, Davis said there are exceptions allowing outdoor church services and political protests, but attendees are required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing.
“Unfortunately we’ve heard reports of some faith organizations operating outside of those health and safety requirements,” 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.
“.. For those (violators) for which we are aware of and are able to
confirm, we will send a notice of violation requesting their adherence,” he
said. “… We’re hoping that institutions that are in violation of the health officer order will follow the example of so many other faith institutions who hold their services outdoors with safety protocols in place.”
There was no suggestion by Davis that any of the roughly 1,000 active virus
outbreaks being investigated by the county involve any religious institutions.
Davis referenced Davis referenced a Washington state choir practice in March that led to 87% of the attendees becoming infected with the virus, and ultimately two deaths doctors linked to COVID-19.