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This story initially appeared on KCRA.
LODI, Calif. — A Lodi church mentioned it would proceed to have Sunday services after the San Joaquin County public well being officer ordered the power to close amid coronavirus considerations.
Cross Tradition Christian Middle mentioned it has a proper to be open and collect for worship. The church, which has been open to parishioners through the coronavirus pandemic, mentioned it employed a lawyer to defend its First Modification rights.
Earlier within the week, police mentioned the church persevering with to keep open is a violation of the California well being and security code and California penal code, and posted a discover of public nuisance on the door.
On Friday, San Joaquin County Public Well being Officer Maggie Park issued an order prohibiting public meeting for Bethel Open Bible Church, the group that leases area to Cross Tradition Christian Middle.
“On March 29, 2020, the Metropolis of Lodi reported to the County Public Well being Officer that your tenant, Cross Tradition Neighborhood Church was persevering with to use your facility for public meeting, and that Cross Tradition Neighborhood Church was conscious of the County Order and supposed to proceed to meet in violation of the Order. As a facility for public meeting neither the constructing or the parking zone is a part of the important crucial infrastructure as outlined by State and Federal companies,” the assertion learn partly.
The order says continued operation of church services will hinder the county’s means to sluggish the unfold of the virus and improve threat to the general public.
On Saturday, the church’s lawyer launched an announcement in response:
“The church intends on persevering with to safely collect for worship throughout Christianity’s most holy week, exercising unalienable and basic rights protected by the First Modification’s proper to peaceably assemble, freedom of speech, and the free train of faith, whereas concurrently observing CDC beneficial COVID-19 social distancing tips. The U.S. Structure isn’t suspended by a virus.”
Though the church intends to meet, the order states that any one who doesn’t comply is responsible of a misdemeanor punishable by positive and/or imprisonment.
The kid-care facility on the Bethel Open Bible Church isn’t affected by the order.