Where Mask-Wearing Isn’t Gospel: Colorado Churches Grapple With Reopening

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The lights dimmed. Guitars thrummed. And a nine-piece band kicked off what amounted to a rock concert inside an amphitheater of a church. “Shout for joy to the Lord,” one musician called out, quoting Scripture.

Any such shout could release the coronavirus to congregants. With some 500 people singing along, though, any concern about a deadly virus circulating was hard to find other than the spaced-out chairs in the 6,000-person hall. Although Colorado’s governor had issued a statewide order days earlier mandating masks, hardly anyone at this service at New Life Church obeyed.

“I’m finding this to be true at churches all over America: If they’re told they have to wear a mask, they’ll stay home,” said Brady Boyd, senior pastor of the 15,000-member New Life Church, a nondenominational megachurch that meets in five locations across the Pikes Peak region.

Long considered one of the

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California School Districts Grope for Sensible Reopening Plans

School leaders in Elk Grove, California, wanted to leave as little to chance as possible. So they brought nearly 150 voices into their decision-making process, and canvassed the parents of the estimated 63,000 students in the district to ask how they wanted their children taught. The result was a four-item menu of instruction choices for the coming academic year, none featuring a full campus.

About 45 minutes down Interstate 5 in California’s Central Valley, seven trustees in Manteca took a 5-2 vote: School would resume on campus, at full classroom capacity, five days a week. Parents would have the option to enroll children in a 100% online academy — although it didn’t yet exist. After a protest from teachers and the health department, the district later relented and agreed to put students on campus for five days every two

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The Costs Of Safely Reopening A High-End Restaurant

Like countless other restaurateurs across California and the nation, Alex and Charity Prestifilippo have been caught in a precarious health-and-safety limbo.

Beginning in March, the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered their popular Gourmet Italia restaurant in Temecula, a wine-growing community of 115,000 southeast of Los Angeles. Dozens of employees were laid off; food stocks quickly became outdated.

They began bleeding cash — about $20,000 every day in lost business, rent and sundry other payments on Gourmet Italia and their other properties, a winery and the pizzeria Spuntino.

While desperate to reopen, the couple also realized the perils involved in serving food to the public with a dangerous pathogen on the loose. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines were confusing enough for the general public. For restaurants trying to keep loyal patrons safe, the lack of clarity was maddening.

What precisely did social distancing mean inside their restaurant, the Prestifilippos wondered.

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Society Is Reopening. Prepare To Hunker Down At Home Again.

Even before the May 25 killing of George Floyd in police custody drew large crowds of protesters into the streets of U.S. cities, people were beginning to throng beaches, bars and restaurants. Whether for economic, social or political reasons, our home confinement seems to be ending.

Or is it?

Public health officials warn that a hasty reopening will generate a second wave of COVID-19 infections. That could delay a return to economic and social normalcy ― or even force us back under house arrest ― as long as there’s no reliable therapy or vaccine.

So while it may seem counterintuitive as people finally come out of the woodwork, now is an opportune moment to talk about doubling down on preparations for

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