New COVID-19 guidelines in California forbid singing during worship services to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.
Issued Wednesday, the updated policies from the state's department of public health require churches and other houses of worship to "discontinue singing and chanting activities." Whereas official guidelines in late May permitted singing, group recitation, and other practices and performances but advised against them, such things are now formally prohibited.
"Activities such as singing and chanting negate the risk reduction achieved through six feet of physical distancing," the state asserted in its updated guidelines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says singing and chanting can spread coronavirus just as easily as sneezing or coughing.
The new measure comes amid an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the West coast state.
Indoor restaurant dining, movie theaters, museums and other venues have also been instructed to shut down in 19 counties.
The new guidelines come as "California's positivity rate – a key indicator of community spread – is trending modestly upward in the 14-day average. Hospitalization rates are also trending upwards in the 14-day average. California has 240,195 confirmed cases to date," the California Department of Public Health announced.
Read more from, "Calif. issues ban on singing in churches amid ongoing pandemic," on The Christian Post.