Public Masses resumed Sunday at San Diego Catholic churches. The Catholic Diocese of San Diego reopened the doors to its 97 parishes, but with limited capacity and other guidelines.
In May, Gov. Newsom released guidelines for reopening churches which included attendance limits.
Other guidelines included distancing measures, such as limiting the number of people attending a service, protocols for disinfecting and cleaning, such as additional hand sanitizer stations and rules around regularly cleaning microphones and other shared items.
The state is calling for limiting attendance to 100 people or 25% of the building's capacity, whichever is lower. That limit stays in effect for 21 days after the house of worship reopens, then conditions will be reviewed by health officials.
Face coverings are strongly recommended.
For Catholic Masses, only families can sit together, no handshaking is allowed, no wine and people must leave immediately after receiving communion.
"People were lacking and were yearning to come back together again in communion with each other and to be able to gather and worship as a community while still following all social distancing requirements," said Father Efrain Bautista from Corpus Christi Church in Bonita.
Bishop McElroy noted that all Catholics in the Diocese of San Diego will continue to remain dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass in the foreseeable future and Masses are still being held online.
"It is important to urge the ill and most vulnerable members of our parish communities to remain home," he stated.