Local churches prepare to celebrate Easter amid COVID-19 outbreak

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – As COVID-19 guidelines limit social interaction, the State of Indiana is providing other guidance to help churches worship Easter Sunday.

Easter weekend typically brings many together, but this year Indiana officials are urging Hoosiers to do so while remembering guidelines set to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“This week, for those who celebrate the sacrifice of Jesus, we’re reminded that there is no greater love or sacrifice at this time than to do what we can to keep others safe,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said.

Many local churches have already turned to virtual options to reach their members for services, which is recommended by the state.

Guidelines laid out by Holcomb on Thursday will give the faith-based community another option to worship with drive-in services.

“If you’re in your car and you’re listening, that is great. That’s social distancing and you’re still getting to go out and about and celebrate your holiday,” Roni Elder, Vigo County health educator, said.

On Sunday, The Bridge church in Terre Haute will host one of these services at the Vigo County Fairgrounds.

Pastor Billy Joe Henry said his church is prepared to take every precaution necessary.

Some of these steps include passing out pre-packaged communion cups and restricting human-to-human interaction.

“Kind of drive-in style parking where we’re going to have a stage put up where we’re going to have our worship service, and after worship service there’s going to be a sermon over the radio frequency,” Henry said.

Elder said not only should churches be prepared to find other options to celebrate but also families who are not in the same household.

“We don’t want to get anybody sick but we all do miss our families so just taking some time to Facetime or Zoom is really the best option right now,” Elder said.

Some other guidelines from Holcomb on Easter include staff who are not speaking should wear masks and the minimum amount of church personnel should be used at all times.

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