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Indoor mask mandate now extends to religious services in Mecklenburg County

Indoor religious services will now have to abide by Mecklenburg County's indoor mask mandate.
Indoor religious services will now have to abide by Mecklenburg County's indoor mask mandate.
Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 6:39 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2021 at 7:39 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Mecklenburg County’s indoor mask mandate now applies to religious settings.

Starting Wednesday, everyone heading to church will now also have to wear a mask indoors during services. It’s a part of the overall mask mandate for the county that was extended to churches in a close 5-4 vote by commissioners earlier this month.

Related coverage:

‘You don’t mess with the church’: Churches react after Mecklenburg County voted to mandate masks inside religious services

Mecklenburg County to require masks at indoor religious gatherings. What we know.

A part of the reason churches became a hot topic was because of the concern over COVID-19 superspreader events.

Last year, more than 200 people tested positive and 12 people died after a huge event at the United House of Prayer for All People Church in Charlotte.

Related: Health officials: ‘Now is not the time’ for United House of Prayer large event

Even when the decision was announced by commissioners, it was already met with some pushback from some local churches, like Freedom House Church.

Church officials told WBTV and announced to their congregation via social media that they would not be making any changes or following the mandate under any circumstances.

A post on the church’s Facebook page states “our lawyers are ready” and “the gates of hell will not prevail.”

A message from our Senior Pastors in light of governmental overreach. 1. Freedom House believes the church is essential...

Posted by Freedom House Church on Friday, September 10, 2021

Still, other churches like Myers Park United Methodist were already requiring masks indoors. Other congregations, like Park Church, are continuing to meet online.

There are many different opinions on this mandate, even with commissioners who passed it. Some support the change and some called it a “slippery slope.”

No matter the opinion, the mask mandate is in effect as of Sept. 22.

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