WILMINGTON — Easter Sunday is just days away and thanks to the coronavirus, church services across the country have been called off in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. These orders have forced churches to adapt and find new ways to connect with their congregations.
One such idea was to host drive-through services on Easter Sunday — but the Wilmington Police Department has given its official stance on these plans, saying they are not permitted.
“With Easter Sunday just three days away, some area Pastors are asking whether or not ‘drive-in’ services are allowed under current Governor’s Executive Orders and local Declarations. These Orders and Declarations prohibit any event or convening that brings together more than ten individuals in one place (indoor or outdoor) at one time. This prohibition includes ‘drive-in’ services,” according to a police department press release.
Concerns over the virus have led to the cancellation of countless events, closures of businesses, and unprecedented unemployment numbers across the country.
“We thank churches and all houses of worship for doing their part in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and believe that their participation is critical in our community-wide success.” Daniel Thurston, City of Wilmington Police Attorney said. “We strongly urge all churches and houses of worship to continue with virtual services, including for Easter.”
While staying in your car for an Easter Service might seem like a harmless work-around, the risk of bringing groups of people together is just too high, according to officials.
“Health Department officials believe that the spread of the virus is at a critical stage. In an effort to flatten the curve and slow the spread of the virus to a manageable level, bringing large groups together, even if people remain in their vehicles, is unnecessarily risky at this time,” the press release concludes.