This Monday afternoon, December 14 at 3:00 pm, Dr. Saqib Shahab, Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer, announced revised public health orders effective this Thursday, Dec. 17th. These remain in effect until Friday, January 15, 2021, unless amended.
The revisions affecting places of worship are as follows:
The Places of Worship Guidelines are established under the provisions of the Public Health Act of Saskatchewan and are legally binding on all residents of Saskatchewan. The government has asked the police to step up enforcement and we have seen a number of local health inspectors looking closely at places of worship. The faith leaders’ group has asked all faith communities to protect vulnerable people by following these guidelines.
30-person capacity, no concurrent services:
Over the past three weeks there have been discussions regarding the Nov. 27 health order. These have led to differing rulings by local health inspectors and considerable confusion for local faith communities. The text of the Places of Worship Guidelines has been revised to read: “All places of worship must reduce capacity to 30 people, including wedding, funeral, and baptismal services. No food or drink may be present or served. Services must be held in their usual location. Concurrent services in other rooms within the facility are not permitted.” This means that the 30-person capacity limit applies to the whole facility, not to individual rooms.
For clarification, the 30-person capacity does not include the minimal number of clergy and other leaders required to facilitate the service. However, faith communities are encouraged to keep this number at a reasonable level.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Janko Kolosnjaji, Vicar General, Eparchy of Saskatoon
COVID-19 Guideline Committee:
– Rev. Ivan Nahachewsky, Marcella Ogenchuk, Bernie Bodnar