Chicago Archdiocese announces timeline for reopening churches amid COVID-19 stay-at-home order

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Thursday, May 14, 2020
Chicago Archdiocese announces timeline to begin reopening churches
The first phase of reopening will take place in May, and is focused on specific ceremonies and small groups.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Archdiocese of Chicago has announced a timeline for gradually reopening churches as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

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Starting May 18, parishes will begin training "non-vulnerable" volunteers to help implement a COVID-19 reopening plan. The training will be completed that week via webinar.

On May 23, churches could reopen for baptism, reconciliation, weddings and funerals with a 10-person limit, assuming they pass an archdiocesan-required certification of readiness to open.

On May 30, churches could reopen for private prayer and adoration with a limit of 10 attendees, the archdiocese said.

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The archdiocese said the second phase of their reopening plan would allow for the reopening of churches for masses for larger groups, but that phase of the plan has not been approved by state officials. There is no timeline set for reopening for mass, the Chicago Archdiocese said.

Church officials emphasized that phase two will require getting the green light from city and state civil authorities.

The Archdiocese of Joliet is also following the same framework to begin reopening their churches.