SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota is slowly reopening facilities throughout the state. Both Governor Kristi Noem and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken have taken steps to help businesses reopen to the public. However, some are proceeding with caution, and some are continuing to do what they’ve been practicing fur this COVID-19 pandemic.
The South Dakota Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is advising its churches to continue to practice social distancing.
“As we begin to plan for the upcoming months, we encourage communities to be wise and flexible, putting first the needs of the most vulnerable, your staff and volunteers and to not rush into anything,” Bishop of the South Dakota Synod Constanze Hagmaier said in her letter.
She says churches continue to hold virtual worship services and parking lot gatherings that are safer than having a large mass in church. Bishop Hagmaier went on to say many congregations she’s talked to plan to continue to stay out of their facilities until May 31. At that point, they will reevaluate if meeting together is a possibility.
“I truly don’t feel it’s safe to gather. At this point its not even necessary because we have still found ways to proclaim the message,” Bishop Hagmaier said.
Singing around people during the virus isn’t safe, Bishop Hagmaier added. She said It could potentially spread the virus more due to the way people exhale and breathe. Which is why churches still continue to hold services virtually. However, Bishop Hagmaier said there is something good that has come out of COVID-19.