Places of worship become essential

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ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — After President Trump deemed places of worship essential on Friday, churches began to open their doors on Sunday morning.

Local pastor of Center City Church in Altoona, Jim Kilmartin says he will be opening the doors to his church this Sunday. Kilmartin says “people need to see each other, you can see each other over the computer but there’s just that face to face that’s incredibly important…We’re going to be taking peoples temperatures as they come in, we have hand sanitizers throughout the building, we have masks available for people and we will provide the opportunity for social distancing.” Churches who open their buildings are required to follow CDC guidelines for communities of faith. Pastor Kilmartin says he’s prepared.

Pastor Jim Balanzo from Trans4mation Church in Altoona already opened his church building last week. He says “whenever we went into the yellow phase then we said okay let’s start opening, lets put our social distancing into effect, let’s do all the things we normally do anyhow. We already sanitize, that’s nothing new for us, we’ve just heightened some areas.”

Trump says if governers refuse to allow church buildings to open he will override them. He hasn’t mentioned what authority he has to do so.

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