A Baptist church in California has been fined $10,000 for holding a morning and evening service indoors and for also including singing during those gatherings. The church has been warned that continued violations of the Santa Clara County health order will result in additional $5,000 per occurrence fines.
“North Valley Baptist is failing to prevent those attending, performing and speaking at North Valley Baptist’s services from singing,” the letter from officials read in part.
“The County understands that singing in an intimate and meaningful component of religious worship. However, public health experts have also determined that singing together in close proximity and without face coverings transmits [corona]virus particles further in the air than breathing or speaking quietly.”
Jack Trieber of North Valley Baptist Church released a video statement on Monday explaining that the church had previously complied with directives prohibiting indoor gatherings as the novel coronavirus seemed to be a serious threat.
“I didn’t want to be responsible for seeing people die,” he outlined. “Because it was going to be a hotspot, we obeyed to the letter.”