LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Starting Thursday, faith communities will be able to gather in larger groups after Gov. Steve Sisolak announced this change earlier in the week.
Gatherings in Nevada can increase from 50 to 250 people or 50% capacity, in the state's latest signed directive during the coronavirus pandemic.
Several religious leaders, including Bishop George Leo Thomas from the Diocese of Las Vegas, say they are happy with the increase in gathering limits.
“We were limited to 50 people per service. So, we were reaching just a fraction… maybe the positive outcome is that this 7-month period has created a new longing for people to receive the Lord in communion but also to be with each other. That’s why I feel this is going to be like a family reunion. I’m one happy bishop over the news,” Thomas said.
Rabbi Sanford Akselrad, from Congregation Ner Tamid, who has also delivered online services, agrees on the benefits of having more people together in a safe way for everyone.
“There’s different logistics, it’s getting volunteers with letting people in, getting people comfortable with the idea of wearing masks when they’re worshiping - it’s even singing safely. It’s a challenge cause it’s also one of the things that could cause a problem spreading the virus So, we have somethings to work out, to think about but we're not alone. Every other faith community is working on this,” expressed Akselrad.
For his congregation, the change could come in a few weeks, after the celebration of Sukkot.
“For the next two Friday nights it will be small but after that, I’m sure we will let our community know what the procedure is,” Akselrad said.
Temperature checks, face mask requirement,s and other safety protocols are expected to continue.
It’s important that you contact your faith community to check which services will be offered in-person and which ones will remain online.