State officials have approved Big Horn County’s request to re-open church services within the county.
The countywide variance was approved by the state Saturday morning. The details of a variance allowing outdoor dining have also been made available. A third variance to allow indoor dining is still awaiting approval from the state but may come back as soon as later today, according to county officials.
Religious organizations may now allow gatherings but must account for several restrictions detailed within the variance.
A six-foot distance must be maintained between individual household groups at all times and the number of people attending the service must be limited to allow for that six-foot distance to be maintained.
Close contact between members of different individual household groups is prohibited.
Reading materials, collection plates and communion trays must be passed out to individual attendees by staff.
Communion is to be be served in individual containers. If containers are not available, assigned individuals may place communion into an attendee’s hand, but must be wearing gloves and a mask.
It is strongly recommended that services are made available to be watched or listened to at home. High-risk individuals and those who work with high-risk individuals are encouraged to stay at home.
According to details within the outdoor dining variance, tables are to be limited to groups of six and must be at least six feet apart, although a distance of 10 feet apart is preferred.
Signage must be visible to remind diners to maintain appropriate social distancing,
Staff must wear face coverings at all times.
Several other provisions are mandated within the variances for both religious services and outdoor dining.
Outdoor dining variance: