(FOX 9) - Places of worship in Minneapolis and St. Paul will continue to hold services remotely, according to a joint statement from the cities’ mayors.
Just hours after Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order loosening restrictions on in-person worship services, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter released a joint statement saying the congregations in the Twin Cities will continue to operate remotely.
The statement said the mayors discussed the issue with faith leaders and heard “loud and clear” that they are unified in continuing to hold services remotely.
“Any large in-person gathering amid this pandemic puts people at risk,” the statement reads. “Regardless of your faith and beliefs, we all have a common obligation to our respective communities and congregations. Let’s put their health and safety first.”
The Walz Administration’s new order allows places of worship to open at 25 percent as long as they also adhere to social distancing guidelines and have fewer than 250 people total.
The new order comes days after Minnesota churches filed a temporary restraining order against Walz’s current Stay Safe MN order, which initially limited places of worship to fewer than 10 people. President Donald Trump recently announced church services were "essential," leading to further debate among Minnesota's faith communities.
Here is the full statement from Frey and Carter:
We’ve spoken with faith leaders from across our Twin Cities, and what we’ve heard loud and clear is a strong, unified commitment to protecting the health of their congregations and continuing to hold services remotely. Any large in-person gathering amid this pandemic puts people at risk. Regardless of your faith and beliefs, we all have a common obligation to our respective communities and congregations. Let’s put their health and safety first.