Pritzker Says It’s Still Not Safe Enough for Illinois Churches to Hold Indoor Services

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said Friday it was still not safe enough in Illinois to allow churches, synagogues and mosques to hold indoor services.

As the state moves toward the next phase of reopening in a week, the Democratic governor says outdoor faith services are welcome but he doesn’t want to risk seeing worshippers get sick because they’re not able to social distance inside.

President Donald Trump said Friday he has deemed churches and other houses of worship “essential” and called on governors across the country to allow them to reopen this weekend, even as some parts of the nation remain under coronavirus lockdown.

Pritzker said Friday “we’re going to continue to operate on the basis of science and data” in determining when churches may re-open for indoor services.

Churches around the country have filed legal challenges to the virus closures.

Public health agencies have generally advised people to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and encouraged Americans to remain six feet (1.8 meters) away from others when possible.

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