Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In the past few weeks, we have seen our nation’s COVID-19 positivity test results surge to all-time highs, and Illinois has also been a part of this grim reality. In an attempt to care for the public, Governor Pritzker has recently issued new mitigation measures that will go into effect November 11 for Regions 7 and 8 of our state. These regions include all of Will, DuPage, Kane, and Kankakee Counties. Many churches in these areas have reached out to NID, seeking clarification as to whether these measures apply to churches.
In communication with both Governor Pritzker’s office and the Illinois Department of Public Health, we have learned the following:
1. Organizers of religious services are encouraged [but not mandated] to follow the occupancy restrictions for meetings and social events as set forth in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 mitigation measures.
2. Events and gatherings that take place outside of religious services [such as potlucks and board meetings] must follow the occupancy restrictions for meetings and social gatherings as set forth in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 mitigation measures.
3. Places of worship are always encouraged to follow the physical and social distancing guidelines from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
We give thanks to God for the faithful work that pastors, lay leaders, and congregations are doing to serve your communities and bring the hope of Christ’s Gospel in the midst of these fluid and challenging days. May we take comfort and peace in knowing that our Lord holds us all in His nail-scarred hands, and, according to His Word, promises to work all things together for the good of those who are called to His purpose. We will continue to monitor government agencies for new developments with regard to the pandemic. As things change in this ever-changing situation, we will seek to keep you up to date so that you can make informed decisions for the congregation and community you serve as Christ’s followers. We are in this together, and the Almighty Lord is with us all!