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Yellowstone County health officer relaxes COVID church guidelines to match businesses

Posted at 9:47 PM, Oct 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-14 23:47:56-04

Riverstone Health changed on restrictions on places of worship and issued a new guideline on Wednesday.

The amended order allows churches and synagogues to have up to 25 people gather if the facility does not exceed 75 percent of capacity.

The order issued on Monday, allowed up to 50 percent.

During a COVID roundtable meeting Wednesday afternoon, Yellowstone County Health Officer John Felton said this brings places of worship to the same capacity as businesses.

Congregation Beth Aaron in Billings has only held in-person services for Jewish holidays.

At this time, it will not change with the new order.

"Functionally, it wouldn't affect us for regular services because our regular service goers would be under that capacity," said Congregation Beth Aaron Student Rabbi Erik Uriate . "We have followed a very, very conservative method of how we're doing this. The Jewish holidays just ended last weekend. we did allow people back into the building but we were extremely careful to make sure that we were well under the capacity recommendations."

Uriate said the special services reached about 30 percent capacity.