Churches across Craighead County adjusting to new policies due to COVID-19

Churches across Craighead County adjusting to new policies due to COVID-19
Churches across Craighead County and the state of Arkansas are having to adjust to new procedures in place for worship services. (Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Craighead County recently reported over 150 new coronavirus cases from people who attended worship services.

Even with the new guidelines released by Governor Asa Hutchinson, Journey Jonesboro Church leaders said Sunday that they haven’t made many adjustments, since they’ve been implementing them since March.

Lead pastor Dan Reeves said they have required masks inside the building and encouraging social distancing since the pandemic began.

In a Friday briefing, health officials said singing unmasked was the primary source for outbreaks at churches.

One new adjustment that the church put into place, is for ushers to direct members where to sit to ensure that there is enough room to spread out.

While things remained distant during the service, it did get a little crowded in the lobby, but masks were on.

One of the new guidelines from the Arkansas Department of Health and Governor Hutchinson says masks should be worn at all times by all attendees, both inside and out.

Reeves said the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in Craighead County directly linked with worship service attendance is concerning but believes they are doing everything to ensure safety.

″We’re monitoring it because we want to do whatever our medical and local officials, state officials are recommending to do the best we can to be a part of what they’re trying to fight," Reeves said.

Reeves says that all churches and pastors should do their part and make the adjustments needed for the church-goer’s health and well-being.

“I think it’s so important for churches to model that posture and that attitude to be able to endure some inconvenience for the sake of everyone, so we just want to do everything we can to be a help with that,” Reeves said. “I would encourage every pastor to do that. I think that’s what we’re here to do.”

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