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County lifts ban on drive-thru churches

Home News County lifts ban on drive-thru churches
Several Colusa County churches are gearing up for drive-in services on Sunday after Colusa County Public Health gave them the green light to proceed.

The decision follows Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Xavier Bacerra’s response to a First Amendment lawsuit filed in Federal Court on April 13, the day after the Christian celebration of Easter.

The Center for American Liberty sued the state and many county officials on the grounds that Newsom’s March 19 stay-in-place order was arbitrary and discriminatory – and criminalized the free practice of religion.

“The religious liberties guaranteed by our Constitution are not negotiable,” said Harmeet Dhillon, chief executive officer for American Liberty, in a statement.

Newsom responded to the lawsuit by changing course, and deciding that drive-in church services “using technology” are appropriate forms of church worship and gathering, and should be exempted from the stay-in-place order as an essential service.

His decision prompted Colusa County Ministerial Association to reach out to Colusa County Public Health to exempt churches from its expanded shelter-in-place that bans travel, other than for essential services like purchasing food and medicine, and for essential work.

Public Health approved the CCMA’s request as long as the churches adhere to physical distancing standards. County officials also announced Friday that the current expanded shelter-in-place order would not be extended after it expires on Friday.

“This victory is important, as it not only signifies that our ministerial association and 21 member churches successfully persevered in advocating for our religious liberties, it also highlights our efforts to come alongside the county and collaborate as a community partner,” said Jason McMullan, CCMA president, on Friday. “We appreciate our county administration setting the example for their public and private agencies, by engaging us as equitable contributors in caring for the community.”

In order for local churches to host drive-in church services, the county directs that ministers ask congregates to stay in their vehicles at all times, with the exception of visiting the restroom upon availability.

Congregates must wear face coverings and the church must make them available should they need to leave their vehicle.

All vehicles must keep their windows rolled up, and vehicles or persons outside their vehicles must be distanced 6 ft. apart from other vehicles or persons.

Additionally, participants, church leaders, or congregates must not have physical contact, the order states. The churches are directed to ask any congregate to leave should they not follow the guidelines.

“Our churches look forward to incorporating safe approaches in our worship and ministry to our community,” McMullan said.

Susan Meeker
Susan Meeker
Susan Meeker is the Editor and Reporter for the Pioneer Review. She started her position with the Pioneer Review in January 2017 as the Advertising Manager. Susan specializes in local crime, government reporting. She also loves covering the various topics and events in our county. You can send her a message at susan@colusacountynews.net

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LPN – Colusa Medical Center Hospice

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2020-0000093 Date filed: October 15, 2020 The following persons are doing business as: COLUSA MEDICAL CENTER HOSPICE Business Address: 199 E. WEBSTER STREET,...

FBN – Colusa Regional Medical Center

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2020-0000092 Date filed: October 15, 2020 The following persons are doing business as: COLUSA REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER Business Address: 199 E. WEBSTER STREET,...

FBN – Arbuckle Health Clinic

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2020-0000091 Date filed: October 15, 2020 The following persons are doing business as: ARBUCKLE HEALTH CLINIC Business Address: 900 KING STREET, ARBUCKLE, CA...

FBN – Colusa Health Clinic

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2020-0000090 Date filed: October 15, 2020 The following persons are doing business as: COLUSA HEALTH CLINIC Business Address: 151 E. WEBSTER STREET, COLUSA,...

FBN – Colusa Medical Center Home Health

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2020-0000089 Date filed: October 15, 2020 The following persons are doing business as: COLUSA MEDICAL CENTER HOME HEALTH Business Address: 199 E. WEBSTER...