ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Many states are calling houses of worship non-essential amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On April 6, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he will be extending his social distancing order until April 29th. With Easter Sunday around the corner, churches are now looking at creative ways to still practice their religion.
Some turn to Facebook LIVE, broadcasting sermons on radio stations. Churches have even invited the public to a drive-in sermon in their parking lots.
“We have been receiving many calls about churches still holding sermons,” said Chemung County Sheriff, Bill Schrom.
Many are raising questions and concerns about drive-in sermons regarding individuals maintaining safe social distance.
“We have to remind people, even with this executive order, the ban does not apply to houses of worship,” said Sheriff Schrom.
Sheriff Schrom says churches can still congregate, but officials still discouraged to do so.
“Although it is discouraged, they would prefer that they don’t do that,” said Sheriff Schrom. “They are exempt from this particular law.”
Sheriff Schrom tells 18 News that as long as people adhere to staying in their vehicles and not get our during the service to mingle with others, they are not violating any orders.
“The public needs to know,” said Schrom. “It’s still allowed at this time.”