RELEASE: CAP Issues Guidelines for Faith Communities Resuming In-Person Gatherings During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Washington, D.C. — As faith communities consider resuming in-person gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic, the Center for American Progress is issuing a set of recommendations based on the best available public health guidance for houses of worship to reduce the risk to their congregations.

Unfortunately, the Trump administration has once again ignored the facts and fully embraced reopening houses of worship despite known public health risks. Several houses of worship have been at the center of numerous outbreaks of COVID-19, prompting major concerns about in-person services.

In lieu of national political leadership, CAP’s Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative and Health Policy team are providing answers to 17 FAQs about resuming in-person religious services. Among the recommendations is that houses of worship should continue to suspend large group gatherings until key benchmarks are met in their state regarding the rate of new COVID-19 cases occurring, testing capacity, and contact tracing procedures.

“The Trump administration’s chaotic coronavirus response has left houses of worship wondering how to navigate reopening,” said Maggie Siddiqi, director of the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative. “We prepared these guidelines to assist houses of worship, which have played a critical role in flattening the curve.”

Read the column: “17 FAQs for Houses of Worship Considering Reopening Amid the Coronavirus Crisis” by Maggie Siddiqi, Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons, Maura Calsyn, Thomas Waldrop, and Samantha Behar.

For more information or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at  or 202-478-6327.

To find the latest CAP resources on the coronavirus, visit our coronavirus resource page.