County warns local churches against indoor worship

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SAN DIEGO – Health officials have warned at least three local churches not to hold indoor worship services because of the danger of spreading the coronavirus.

County Chief Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten told FOX 5 that she sent the warnings to Awaken Church in Kearny Mesa, Lighthouse Baptist Church on Skyline Drive and Skyline Church on Campo Road.

Wooten said Awaken Church held an indoor service two weeks ago, so the county sent the church a cease and desist order. It reads, in part, “as the responsible party for you facility, it is your duty to ensure that the orders are complied with.” The letter warns that failure to do so could result in a misdemeanor citation of $1000 per violation. 

FOX 5 contacted a representative from Awaken Church who declined to make a statement. But early Wednesday morning a team was working to build a stage in the church parking lot in preparation for a Wednesday evening service. The church also placed signs at the venue reminding people to wear face coverings and maintain 6 feet of social distance. 

County officials said Lighthouse Baptist Church and Skyline Church had both announced they were planning to openly defy the health orders prohibiting indoor worship. The letters sent by the county warned them against following through with those plans.

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