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Bay Area churches begin reopening plans


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Right now it’s the biggest week of the year for churches — it’s Good Friday and Easter is this Sunday.

As counties move into less restrictive tiers, church leaders have had to decide if they are going to gather in person.

Pre-COVID, Grace Cathedral would see about 2,000 people attending Easter services.

This year almost everything will be happening virtually, but some other churches are starting their re-entry plans.

“Bring some joy back to our parishioners, we have been sheltered in place for over a year now.”

Staff at Bay North Church of Christ in Fairfield are preparing to welcome people back in-person.

“We have to at some point start easing up and allowing our members to come back. It’s been over a year.”

Pastor Sam Morris says this is the first time they will be gathering at the church.

Solano County is still in the red tier. Guideline say the church can have a gathering at 25 percent capacity.

Morris says they’ll have about 75 people socially distanced in their main sanctuary and 45 in an overflow room.

“It’s going to be very difficult not to want to hug and embrace.”

Everyone is required to register before entering the church.

“We use that data to allow us to contact trace.”

People will answer a questionnaire, wear masks, and there will be temperature checks.

At Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, they’re doing things a little differently.

“Even though we want to be together more than almost anything it makes us be really careful and patient in terms of setting things up for regathering.”

San Francisco is in the orange tier but when they started planning, that wasn’t the case.

“Everything had to be recorded like a month ago.”

Most of the events will be virtual.

Dean Malcolm Young says they have to follow both the city and the diocese guidelines.

He believes it’s important to make these sacrifices right now.

“Wearing a mask, social distancing, it’s really a way of showing how we love and care for people who are vulnerable.”

KRON4 learned there may be some small, surprise, events happening at the cathedral, but they’re not advertising them because they don’t want too much of a crowd.

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