Churches adjust mask policies in wake of new CDC guidance

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In this illustration dated February 26, 2020, protective N-95 face masks lie on a table at an office in Washington, DC. (Photo by EVA HAMBACH/AFP via Getty Images)

On Thursday, we took a major step toward pre-pandemic life when the CDC eased mask guidelines.

Fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks outdoors in crowds or in most indoor settings. Still, there are questions as to when face coverings are needed.

Crossroads Church in Lexington will be mask optional starting May 23. The big news was announced at services on Sunday morning by community pastor John Gillispie.

“We’re certainly not the first to change our stance on masks, but we know that a lot of churches are moving this way right now as comfort levels throughout the city and society are changing,” Gillispie says.

Gillispie says the church is waiting until next week, so people have time to make decisions. He says there will be options for those who are not yet ready to leave the masks behind. Gillispie explains there will be a mask section and that will allow everyone to be comfortable. Staff and volunteers of the church will continue wearing masks. This way, no one will have to interact with anyone unmasked.

Still, for many, it will be their last time walking into a Sunday service with a face covering.

“It’s so powerful to be able to smile at each other, to see facial expressions, to talk uninhibited, and so just to help people feel like we are on a path back towards normal,” Gillispie says.

The CDC still calls for masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters. Kentucky’s mask mandate ends June 11th.

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