Houses of worship slowly reopening under strict coronavirus guidelines

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The Rev. Mark Garrett of Valle Vista Assembly of God, his wife Tina and other parishioners keep their 6-foot distance in the first Sunday, May 31, inside the church, which has been closed to in-person worship since the COVID-19 nationwide state quarantine began in March. Valley News/Tony Ault photo
Many churches and houses of worship in southwest Riverside County are beginning to conduct services inside their sanctuaries and halls, while attempting to follow the state guidelines given by Gov. Gavin Newsom shortly after Riverside County requested May 15 that churches have special consideration under the Stage 2.5 reopening edict. Those guidelines, set out in the 18-page document, are still creating problems with larger churches in the county, particularly the 100-person crowd limitation, no singing and staying 6-feet apart with no hugging or holding hands. Some of the larger churches were defying the governor’s church gathering guidelines before churches, synagogues and mosques were designated as “essential” businesses by President Donald Trump, the governor and county medica
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