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Kentucky AG Cameron Says Socially Distant Easter Services Are OK

Attorney General Daniel Cameron at the Republicans' 2019 Election Party
Attorney General Daniel Cameron at the Republicans' 2019 Election Party

Drive-thru Easter services are acceptable as long as the participants follow CDC guidelines for social distancing, said Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron in a statement, apparently overriding Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer's call for local churches and others not to hold in-person services this weekend.

Cameron said preventing individuals from celebrating religious holidays would be unnecessary if they do so safely.

"Religious organizations should not be treated any differently than other entities that are simultaneously conducting drive-through operations, while also abiding by social distancing policies," he said. "As long as Kentuckians are permitted to drive through liquor stores, restaurants, and other businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the law requires that they must also be allowed to participate in drive-in church services, consistent with existing policies to stop the spread of COVID-19. "

This week, Fischer has urged worshipers not to hold drive thru services or other in-person gatherings for Easter and Passover, which started Wednesday night. He said the size of Louisville's population would mean such events could attract more participants than is safe. Earlier today, he told the Courier Journal police officers would hand out leaflets with information about the crisis at church services.

In response to Cameron's statement, Fischer said he was reluctant but emphatic in asking faith leaders not to hold in-person services, and that he was grateful for the vast majority who are complying with that request.

"The science is clear. This virus doesn’t care about faith, family, traditions or love. It just wants to spread to as many people as possible. And it kills. So, I want people of faith to keep the faith – by staying home, worshiping at home and practicing social distancing so we can save lives," he said in a statement shared by his spokeswoman Jean Porter.

He said more discipline now will allow people to resume worshiping together sooner.

Amina Elahi is LPM's City Editor. Email Amina at aelahi@lpm.org.