Health Commissioner Orders Churches Closed Due to COVID-19
FORT WAYNE INDIANA (March 21, 2020) – In order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 in the community, Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Deborah McMahan is prohibiting church gatherings in Allen County Indiana, including those held in non-church venues.
The order was issued Saturday in response to health officials learning some local congregations were still hoping to gather in small, separated groups of 10 for bible study or modified services. The order, effective Sunday, March 22 at 12:01 a.m., states no gatherings with an aggregate total of more than 10 individuals in a church building is permitted.
“While we understand people are still in need of spiritual guidance during these difficult times, we need to be sure everyone grasps the importance of social distancing and avoiding any non-essential gatherings,” said health commissioner Dr. Deborah McMahan. “We need the whole community’s cooperation in slowing the spread of COVID-19 to a pace that allows our healthcare systems to provide essential medical care to the expected growing number patients who will contract the virus in addition to all other patients they serve on a regular basis.”
The order is effective until April 11 at 11:59 p.m. or until it is extended, rescinded, superseded or amended in writing by the Health Commissioner.
- Download the full order
- Local Public Health Order: Churches to close – March 21, 2020
- Clarification for church leaders on order – March 21, 2020
- Download the Clarification letter written by Dr. Deborah McMahan
- Church Order does not include child care services – March 22, 2020