Inslee amends religious gatherings directive

OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee has updated the restrictions for religious and faith-based organizations. The new directive allows outdoor services with up to 200 individuals regardless of the location. Previously those gatherings were limited to the organization’s property or an immediately adjacent property. Drive-in services are allowed with no limits on capacity for those ceremonies.  

Social distancing and mask wearing requirements remain in place. The governor’s office stated that Inslee still strongly encourages religious leaders and communities to conduct services remotely. Counseling services are considered essential and may be conducted in person if remote counseling is not viable.

Indoor services are allowed with up to 25 percent of the room’s capacity or up to 200 people, whichever is less. Six feet of social distancing between households in all directions must be maintained and cloth face coverings are required for all participants.

In-home services are allowed for up to five people, excluding the organization staff. Those services also require face masks. Weddings and funerals are not a part of the new guidelines. They are dealt with under a separate guidance, which has not been amended.