CDC Releases Recommendations for Communities of Faith

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Friday, May 22, 2020
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

Across America, states and localities are experiencing different stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many state and local officials have determined to begin moving gradually and strategically toward reopening their regions. Today, CDC published guidance to help prevent exposures to COVID-19 in facilities used by communities of faith and to keep their staff and attendees as healthy as possible as they exercise their faith.

Gathering together for worship is at the heart of many faith traditions. Because there are several published reports of COVID-19 outbreaks sparked by large gatherings, both non-religious and religious in nature, the recommendations released today will help guide faith communities while respecting their fundamental right to gather for worship.

Implementation should be guided by what is feasible, practical, and consistent with the needs and religious beliefs of each community. Decisions and strategies on reopening are implemented at the state, tribal, local, and territorial levels based on their phased reopening plan.  Each locale is different, and individual jurisdictions have the authority and local public health data and information needed to protect their communities without discrimination against religion. CDC is continuing to work with state, tribal, local, and territorial leaders to provide technical assistance and resources that can help support decisions to protect health and prevent the spread of COVID-19 consistent with the free exercise rights of people of faith.

For more information:


CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.