Canceling In-Person Springtime Religious Celebrations

With local, neighboring jurisdictions, and state stay at home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19, this year requires a break from tradition.

April 9, 2020 | 2 min reading time

This article is 3 years old. It was published on April 9, 2020.

With confirmed COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in the City of St. Louis, faith-based organizations are being asked to use alternatives to in-person gatherings during Easter week events, Passover, Orthodox Easter, and Ramadan. The City of St. Louis Department of Health is encouraging religious leaders to consider live streaming services and meetings or send out prerecorded presentations to members.  
These spring celebrations traditionally bring members of faith communities together to rejoice in their beliefs and enjoy fellowship. But with local, neighboring jurisdictions’, and state stay at home orders currently in effect to help slow the spread of COVID-19 this year requires a break from tradition. Under the stay at home order issued for the City of St. Louis these large gatherings are prohibited.
“For social distancing to be effective there has to be an emphasis on physical distancing to limit interactions with others,” said Fredrick Echols, Director of Health for the City of St. Louis. “The Department of Health is appealing to religious leaders throughout the metropolitan area to cancel in-person services, observances, and meetings and lend their voices to asking individuals to stay at home.”  
The Department of Health continues to emphasize the need to stay at home and if you must go out practice staying at least six feet from others, do not gather in groups, stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.  
As of 5:00 p.m. April 8, 2020, the City of St. Department of Health reported 12 deaths, 514 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 188 persons being monitored, and 12 pending tests approved by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.  The Department of Health’s most recent COVID-19 response efforts can be found at

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