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California's reopening plan unfair to churches, says U.S. government

The U.S. government is stepping in and questioning Governor Newsom's reopening plan, saying it may be unconstitutional when it comes to houses of worship.

Posted: May 20, 2020 4:35 PM
Updated: May 20, 2020 5:44 PM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif.- The U.S. government is stepping in and questioning Governor Newsom's reopening plan, saying it may be unconstitutional when it comes to houses of worship. 

The reverend at St. John's Episcopal Church in Chico says they don’t see it as discrimination because of their type of gathering.

Tuesday the Assistant Attorney General sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom saying his four stage reopening plan is not treating houses of worship fairly.

The letter says the Governor is showing an "unequal treatment of faith communities" by preventing them from gathering in person while allowing restaurants retailers to reopen – as long as they follow the safety guidelines.

The letter says religious gatherings should be given that same opportunity, but Reverend Richard Yale says he doesn’t see it that way.

"I don’t see this as discrimination, it’s the type of gathering. It’s different than going to Costco or a market or being in an open area in the park. We have a different set of habits that unfortunately have become vectors for disease and we have to think creatively about our responsibility," said Reverend Yale. 

He says they are holding virtual meetings and online worships. Even when they’re allowed to reopen, he says his church won’t do so until they are ready and have all the proper safety measures in place.

Reverend Yale says a group of pastors are meeting with Sheriff Honea virtually on Wednesday night to address some concerns and start discussing safe ways to reopen when its safe to do so.

As of right now churches are included in phase three of reopening plan. 

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 101050

Reported Deaths: 3895
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles487612201
Riverside7139303
San Diego6882249
Orange5646136
San Bernardino4567176
Alameda304993
Santa Clara2688140
San Francisco240840
San Mateo196382
Kern194136
Tulare179679
Santa Barbara160412
Fresno153526
Contra Costa137537
Imperial135224
Sacramento131956
Ventura101732
San Joaquin77133
Kings6983
Stanislaus67028
Sonoma5244
Solano49920
Monterey4298
Marin42014
Merced2737
San Luis Obispo2631
Santa Cruz2052
Yolo20022
Placer1949
Napa1093
Humboldt982
Madera902
El Dorado800
San Benito762
Sutter422
Nevada411
Butte400
Del Norte400
Shasta374
Mono351
Yuba281
Mendocino230
Lake190
Inyo191
Mariposa161
Calaveras150
Glenn130
Amador100
Siskiyou61
Colusa50
Tuolumne40
Plumas40
Lassen40
Tehama41
Alpine20
Trinity10
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Chico
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Oroville
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Paradise
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Chester
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Red Bluff
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Willows
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Today a heat wave continues but tomorrow night rain moves in, lasting into Saturday with much cooler temperatures. We warm up again on Tuesday.
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