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Florida Considers On-Site Religious Services an ‘Essential Activity’ During COVID-19 Quarantine

COVID-19

Florida (WTFF) – Physical churches, synagogues and houses of worship are to remain open to the public during the coronavirus outbreak, according to an Executive Order released on April 1, 2020 by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

The stay at home order demands that Floridians only leave their homes for “essential activities” such as shopping for food, receiving medical attention, caring for loved ones, etc. until April 30.

The order includes “attending religious services conducted in churches, synagogues and houses of worship” as “essential activities.”

You can read the entire “Essential Services and Activities During COVID-19 Emergency” order on flgov.com.

Two days before this executive order was released, Tampa megachurch pastor Rodney Howard-Browne was arrested after holding two Sunday services with hundreds of people present. (AP)

The gatherings violated state and county emergency restrictions regarding the coronavirus pandemic, including the “Safer At Home” order in Pinellas County.

Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne was charged with unlawful assembly and violation of a public health emergency order.

Rodney Howard-Browne, pastor of The River Church (AP)

Last week, he claimed that The River Church was “the most sterile building in America.” (CL Tampa)

“We brought in 13 machines that basically kill every virus in the place, and uh, if somebody walks through the door it’s like, it kills everything on them. If they sneeze, it shoots it down at like 100 mph. It’ll neutralize it in split seconds. We have the sterile building in, I don’t know, all of America.”

Rodney Howard-Browne

He also claimed that he could cure America of the virus, but not the world.

It is unclear which order Floridians are to follow.

Most churches have closed their doors and went to online services during the coronavirus outbreak, though not all have.

Last week, a pastor in Virginia died from coronavirus after saying the media is “pumping out fear” about it. (Newsweek)

Last month, a Christian megachurch was responsible for at least 2,000 COVID-19 cases in South Korea. (Orlando Weekly)

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