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Stop holding 'drive-in' church services, Georgia public health director says

The governor's office said, however, drive-in churches are OK if everyone practices social distancing and that no one is gathering in groups of 10 or more.

ATLANTA — As new procedures and guidelines were set forth, both at the state and national level, many churches looked for alternative methods for Sunday services. Some went online -- and a few had "drive-in" services.

Now, one Georgia Department of Pubic Health director is saying those should stop -- because they don't adhere to the rules for "no public gatherings."

"While we understand the desire of local churches to gather in worship, we encourage our churches to please strictly abide by local guidelines that limit social gatherings," District Health Director Thomas Craft said. 

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He went on to say that many of the large outbreaks across our nation and state are directly linked to places of worship and similar gatherings.

As part of the state of emergency declared locally, social gatherings of 10 or more people are not allowed, the health director said.

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"Our only hope is that by practicing this and other social distancing measures set by our local government, we can safely return to our places of worship sooner rather than later," Craft added.

RELATED: Churches and support groups go digital during 'social distancing' and coronavirus

The governor's office said, however, drive-in churches are OK if everyone practices social distancing and that no one is gathering in groups of 10 or more. 

"The Governor has encouraged religious institutions to move to online services and to strictly adhere to social distancing, but no state level mandate would preclude those organizations from holding a “drive-in” church," a representative from the governor's office said. 

Many church leaders are using social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook to provide updates. Some churches are directing members to their websites for prayer requests.

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus.  We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information.