Updated: May 21, 2020 05:36 AM
Created: May 20, 2020 12:04 PM
ALBANY, N.Y. (WHEC) — As of midnight on Thursday, religious gatherings of no more than 10 people will be allowed statewide, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.
The governor said that drive-in or parking lot services will be encouraged.
Locally, News10NBC reported that Old Paths Chapel in Perry, has been holding its Sunday service at the Silver Lake drive-in and streaming it live on its Facebook page.
The state is convening the Interfaith Advisory Council to discuss proposals to safely bring back religious services.
On May 13, the governor's office told News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke that churches will be included in phase four of reopening.
During his conference, the governor also reported there have been 112 new deaths in the state since Tuesday. He said a majority of the state's deaths from the virus, so far, have come from low-income communities.
As a result, he is directing local governments to increase testing and develop outreach programs in those communities.
"I think even at this time of stress and when people are so anxious, so confused, I think those religious ceremonies can be very comforting, but we need to find out how to do it and how to do it safely and do it smartly," Cuomo said.
The governor also said the rate of hospitalizations and new cases are down.
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