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Tyler church talks about new COVID-19 guidelines effective May 1

Updated: Apr. 29, 2020 at 3:01 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday new guidelines for churches/houses of worship to follow if they intend on meeting in person beginning on May 1.

KLTV’s Dante Nuñez explains how Friendly Baptist Church in Tyler is following those orders to keep its congregation safe and healthy.

“We want to be able to meet but we want to do it in a safe way,” Executive Pastor of Friendly Baptist Church in Tyler, Steve Lyles said.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday new guidelines for churches/houses of worship to follow if...
Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday new guidelines for churches/houses of worship to follow if they intend on meeting in person beginning on May 1.(Copyright 2020 KLTV. All rights reserved.)

A sign of hope for congregations as Abbott loosens restrictions on worship services. Lyles explains what his church is planning.

“We’re going to wiping down things, our greeters and safety team will be wearing masks and gloves,” he said.

Abbott’s 66-page report called, Open Texas, lists some requirements.

· Ensure 6 feet of space between attendees unless they’re in the same household.

· Every other row needs to remain empty.

· Designate an area reserved for the high-risk population and encourage those who are high risk to watch from home.

“Our welcome team will be holding the doors open so nobody has to touch the doors,” Lyles said.

Despite the new guidelines, Karen Jones, Pastor of Cedar Street and Tyler First United Methodist Church says, now’s not a good time for her congregation.

“This Sunday I think is way too early, I don’t see the numbers. We’re still watching numbers very closely and with the population that I have, that’s already at an at-risk age group, we’re just not going to push it,” she said.

Lyles says, he will only open up the worship service because it can hold up to 1000 people.

“We feel like we have enough space where we can spread out and we don’t know what Sunday is going to look like, it could be that there’s nobody here," he said.

Lyles will also evaluate everything on a week-by-week basis and will continue to provide a live stream for those wanting to participate from home.

For more information on the rules and regulations from Abbott’s report on churches and places of worship, click here.

For more information on where to find Abbott’s full report to OPEN TEXAS, click here.

Copyright 2020 KLTV. All rights reserved.