A federal judge issued an order on Saturday that allows North Carolina religious leaders to reopen their doors to their congregations in spite of the governor’s warning that they risk spreading coronavirus.
Gov. Roy Cooper said he wouldn’t appeal the ruling blocking his restrictions on indoor religious services.
A hearing is scheduled May 29 on whether the order will become permanent.
The order prevents Cooper from taking enforcement actions against religious worshipers but also states they should observe recommendations for social distancing and reduce transmission of the virus when possible.
Governor Cooper’s spokesperson issued the following statement in response to the order.
“We don’t want indoor meetings to become hotspots for the virus and our health experts continue to warn that large groups sitting inside for long periods of time are much more likely to cause the spread of COVID-19. While our office disagrees with the decision, we will not appeal, but instead urge houses of worship and their leaders to voluntarily follow public health guidance to keep their members safe.”