May 30, 2020 - Health

CDC pares down guidance on how to reopen houses of worship

Robert Redfield wears a mask and points at the sky

CDC Director Robert Redfield in the Rose Garden on May 15. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, without notice, removed specifics on choirs in its guidelines for houses of worship to reopen, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The CDC's original long-form guidance for businesses to reopen included detailed guidance for churches and other religious institutions, which the White House requested be taken out, according to AP.

Between the lines: President Trump has added pressure onto churches and houses of worship to reopen, saying he would override governors to allow them to open "right now."

What's new: The CDC's guidance on houses of worship no longer says that religious communities should "consider suspending or at least decreasing use of choir/musical ensembles and congregant singing, chanting, or reciting during services or other programming, if appropriate within the faith tradition," per the Post.

  • “The act of singing may contribute to transmission of Covid-19, possibly through emission of aerosols," the removed CDC guidelines said.

The CDC did not respond to requests for comment.

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