By Laura Keil
In-person worship services are permitted once again in the Northern Health region after the health region updated their public health orders for gatherings and events to align with Provincial Health Officer Orders.
Worship services will be allowed in-person once again with COVID-19 safety requirements in place, including proof of vaccination.
The revised NH Gatherings and Events COVID-19 Order takes effect at midnight, December 10, 2021, and will be in place until at least January 31, 2022, while Northern Health and provincial public health officials continue to evaluate levels of COVID-19 activity and ongoing impacts on the health care system, individuals, and communities.
Under the recent changes, faith-based organizations will be allowed to resume in-person worship services, as long as they are limited to 50 per cent capacity and all participants over the age of 11 are vaccinated. Virtual or drive-in services can be held without a check of vaccination status.
The revised order also removes proof of vaccination requirements for outside events, in line with provincial measures.
The rules on worship build on the previous relaxation of restrictions from Nov. 30th including:
- Up to 10 fully-vaccinated people gathering inside personal residences, and up to 25 outside (increased from 5, and 15)
- Increasing capacity for inside seated events, including weddings, funerals and theatre and performing arts events, to 50% of capacity venue (increased from 50-person cap) with proof of vaccination
- Increasing outside event capacity to 50% (increase from 100-person cap)
Northern Health says there are ongoing vaccine clinic opportunities throughout the region, including for newly-eligible 5 to 11 year olds. To find a clinic, visit: https://www.northernhealth.ca/health-topics/covid-19-immunization-clinics