Industry Guidance for Safely Reopening: Faith-based
communities, places of worship, weddings, and funerals
Beginning May 27, 2020
Before hosting groups over 10 people, faith-based communities, places of worship, funeral homes, and
other venues that offer gathering space for wedding, funerals, and planned services such as worship,
rituals, prayer meetings, scripture studies, must develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
that addresses the following components. The Plan must be evaluated, monitored, executed, and
updated under the supervision of a designated Plan Administrator within your organization or
leadership structure (including a “church” as that term is used in the Internal Revenue Code).
The Plan must be posted on site in an easily accessible location that will allow for the Plan to be readily
reviewed by all leadership, staff, and volunteers.
Please note: Occupancy must be reduced to accommodate for the required social distancing of at least
six feet between people who do not live in the same household. In indoor settings, occupancy must
not exceed 25% of total occupancy, with a maximum of 250 people in a single self-contained space.
In outdoor settings, gatherings must not exceed 250 people.
Please note: This guidance is limited to weddings, funerals, and faith-based services as described
above and does not apply to related celebrations or social gatherings. Such social gatherings continue
to be limited to 10 people. The consumption of food and beverages beyond what is necessary for a
planned service or ritual is also prohibited. This includes gatherings after services to share food, drink
and community both indoors and outdoors. Congregants should be encouraged to exit directly after
services and return to their cars or other mode of transportation.
Faith Leaders, Staff, and Volunteers, including those responsible for using the facility for support
groups or other activities, are all considered “Staff” in this document.
Large gatherings continue to present a risk for increasing the spread of COVID-19. All faith communities
are encouraged to provide remote services and have the right to choose not to open or host large
gatherings.
STAFF PROTECTIONS AND PROTOCOLS
Ensure Sick Staff Stay Home
1. Establish health screening protocols for staff at the start of each shift (e.g. health screening
survey, taking temperature). See the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH)’s Visitor and
Employee Health Screening Checklist
(https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/facilityhlthscreen.pdf). The checklist is
also available in Hmong, Somali, and Spanish
(https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/businesses.html).
2. Staff with COVID-19 symptoms should be sent home immediately. If they cannot be sent home

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