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Northwest Louisiana churches react to governor lifting capacity limits

religious services will have no capacity limits going forward
religious services will have no capacity limits going forward(KSLA)
Published: Mar. 7, 2021 at 12:32 PM CST
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(Editor’s note: This story was originally published March 3, 2021 at 10:33 PM CST - Updated March 4 at 9:33 AM on ksla.com)

SHREVEPORT, La. (Great Health Divide) - With Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announcing that the state is moving into Phase 3, religious services will have no capacity limits going forward.

Some northwest Louisiana pastors say their churches will continue doing what they have been doing for months by holding limited in-person services, online services, and some even worshipping outside in the parking lot.

Uelyss Reed Jr., pastor of Stonewall Baptist Church, says a COVID-19 outbreak at the Bossier City church in October of 2020 caused more than 20 people, including himself, to contract the virus. He says two church members died.

“Really, we did everything that the CDC required us to do, taking temperatures and all,” Reed Jr. said. “We did that. But when it struck us, it just swept the air out of ourselves. I was really at that point ready to do things from home.”

He says for that reason, he’s hesitant to fully open the church’s doors again.

Pastor Donzell Hughes of Saint Elizabeth Baptist Church in Grand Cane says they’ve adapted to having services online and outside as well. He and several others in his congregation contracted COVID-19 and survived.

“Well with our church, we have done everything to go by government regulations,” Hughes said. “We have done all we can do to keep the church doors open and keep the church moving in the midst of the pandemic. Even with the regulations lifted, I think we should still carry out the requirements.”

Great Health Divide is an initiative addressing health disparities in the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia funded in part by the Google News Initiative.

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