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California lays out pandemic rules for church reopenings

FILE - In this Saturday, May 23, 2020, file photo, a woman and child sit in a circle designed to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus by encouraging social distancing at Washington Square park in front of Saints Peter and Paul Church in San Francisco. An appeals court has upheld California Gov. Gavin Newsom's ban on in-person church services amid the coronavirus pandemic. The split ruling found that government's emergency powers override what in normal times would be fundamental constitutional rights. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California’s churches, mosques and synagogue may get the nod to reopen their doors sooner than expected under new state guidelines.

On Monday, the public health department released a framework for counties deciding whether to allow churches to restart in-person services.

The guidelines suggest masks should be worn, temperatures taken, and services shortened.

Sharing prayer books or prayer rugs or using the collection plate are discouraged in the name of social distancing.

Churches are the latest focus of efforts to restart California life since it was shuttered by a March stay-at-home order designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

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