Abingdon police offer guidance on drive-in church services

Local Coronavirus Coverage

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ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) – The Abingdon Police Department is offering guidance to church leaders regarding drive-in church services amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The department says Gov. Ralph Northam’s stay-at-home order does not prohibit worship or worship services.

The order does put restrictions on public gatherings, however.

The police department encourages churches to follow these guidelines:

  • Attendees may travel to their place of worship, park in the parking lot, and listen to the religious message while remaining in their vehicles.
    • It is recommended that immediate family/members of the same household occupy the same vehicle.
    • If attendees must have their car windows down to hear the service, there should be at least six feet of space between parked vehicles, preferably more.  
  • Participants must remain in their vehicle at all times, except as necessary to visit a restroom. 
    • Try to keep the entire service to an hour or less in order to prevent people from needing to exit their vehicle.
    • If an attendee must exit their vehicle, they need to maintain social distancing from those coordinating the service.
  • There must be no more than 10 individuals leading the religious ceremony or functioning outside of the church in support of the religious ceremony.
  • Any objects used for collecting monetary offerings shall not be passed from attendee to attendee but may be offered to attendees in a vehicle as long as the object stays in the possession of the person assisting with collection. 
  • Appropriate measures should be taken for the safety of those functioning outside of the cars. 
  • Please do not allow vehicles to block streets or sidewalks.
  • Faith communities should also adhere to any noise ordinances.

The police department says additional guidance is also available online here and here.

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