By CBSLA Staff

VENTURA (CBSLA) – A Ventura County judge has granted a temporary restraining order against a Newbury Park church for holding indoor religious services in violation of public health orders.

Socially-distanced chairs are set up in Godspeak Calvary Chapel for indoor services, which the county says are banned under COVID-19 guidelines. (credit: CBS)

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The Ventura County Superior Court granted the order requiring Godspeak Calvary Chapel and pastor Rob McCoy to adhere to statewide and local public health orders requiring church services to be conducted outdoors with masks and social distancing and/or online, according to officials.

The church held socially distanced communion services on Palm Sunday before eventually returning to indoor services after McCoy said he was being unfairly targeted and was willing to go to jail over the issue.

In an Instagram post, McCoy cited county data indicating there were at the time 77 total deaths in Ventura County out of 846,000 people – or about .009% of the population.

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McCoy wrote: “Positive cases are down, no one under 30 has died in our county; and yet, our schools are shuttered, our business have been decimated, and our houses of worship closed.

“The government’s cure is proving worse than the virus itself.”

A county statement read: “Pastor McCoy has publicly stated that the church would not cease indoor services absent court intervention. The County and its Health Officer were therefore compelled to seek relief from the court”.

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Public health orders prohibit indoor gatherings for places and events such as gyms and fitness centers, non-essential office buildings, malls, personal care services, hair salons and barbershops, protests, and worship services.