Clarification for church leaders on order

Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Deborah McMahan has issued a clarification of her Local Public COVID-19 Health Order to close churches in Allen County Indiana. The text of the letter follows.

FORT WAYNE INDIANA (December 22, 2020) Dear Church Leaders:

Pastor Roger Reece of Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County just made me aware of a possible miscommunication on my part. Due to the transmission of the COVID 19 virus in our community and President Donald Trump and CDC’s guidance recommending people meet in groups of 10 or less, earlier today we ordered churches not to meet if they are unable to meet the less than 10 person guidance. However, understanding faith is an essential part of most people’s lives especially during crises, we strongly encourage other ways to pastor to your parishioners. Online, webinars, Facebook or other social media platforms are all wonderful ways to meet the spiritual needs of our community and we encourage those methods. The only thing the order prohibits is having church services with more than 10 attendees present together. We realize the current Governor’s orders restrict these gatherings to no more than 50, but we felt we needed to work toward protecting our community from gatherings larger than 10 at this time.

Please accept my apologies for any confusion and know we are counting on our faith leaders to provide the spiritual support this community will need to endure and get through this crisis. But like healthcare and everything else, it will likely need to be done differently than in normal times. I know it takes folks a bit of time to adjust to new things, but for a pandemic of this magnitude we need to act quickly and collectively if we are to slow the pace of transmission through our community to a level our healthcare systems can keep up with. You are an important part of this plan.

Deborah A. McMahan, MD
Health Commissioner

Download the Clarification letter written by Dr. Deborah McMahan.

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