BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — It was announced Wednesday all of Erie County was designated as either a Yellow Zone or Orange Zone and a portion of Niagara County was designated as a Yellow Zone due to a rising number of COVID-19 cases.
With that designation comes specific restrictions to attempt to control the spread of COVID-19 which includes capacity restrictions on houses of worship.
The Diocese of Buffalo announced it will implement the following guidelines for its parishes in the Yellow and Orange Zones effective Friday:
- Yellow Zone: maximum 50% capacity for worship, adhering to six-foot social distancing requirements, for all other gatherings a maximum of 25 people (non-residential) or 10 (residential);
- Orange Zone: gatherings not to exceed the LESSER of 33% or 25 people for worship, which means that most parishes will only be able to welcome a maximum of 25 people for Mass.
The Diocese also released the following statement on the mater :
"There are now 250,000 who have succumbed to the virus in the United States alone, and while some may view the current restrictions as an issue of religious liberty or “Church vs. State,” the Diocese acknowledges this legitimate public health threat and the need to adhere to limits on public gatherings. Motivated by our concern for human life at all stages, and our care and concern for one another and those most vulnerable, these guidelines, while disappointing for many, are temporary measures to aid in reducing the infection rate across Western New York."