Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Sep 15, 2023 / 16:40 pm
After hitting their lowest recorded levels since the start of the pandemic in early summer, COVID-19 cases have begun to increase again, raising the specter of new mask mandates and recalling the early days of the pandemic, when fears of COVID outbreaks led much of society to shutter — including, controversially, many churches around the country.
Yet legal protections afforded to churches have evolved considerably since the start of the pandemic. Many states have passed explicit protections for houses of worship, ensuring either that they will not be forced to shutter again amid a future health emergency or that they will not be treated more harshly than other “essential services” allowed to remain open.
CNA compiled data on which states now protect houses of worship as “essential” and which do not. Peruse the map below and see where your state falls.