Churches seeking to reopen during phase 2 of reopening

Churches seeking to reopen during phase 2 of reopening
Posted at 2:07 AM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 05:09:21-04

BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — Due to the COVID-19 closures many churches like the Riverlakes Community Church have resorted to moving their services online and pre-recorded since March 19.

Angelo Frazier, Pastor of care and outreach for Riverlakes Community Church, believes with proper guidelines they should be allowed to reopen along with other businesses.

“House of worship should be in Phase 2," said Frazier. "The current plan has some inconsistencies, where you can go to the mall, theater, and go to a restaurant; but you can’t go to a house of worship.”

Pastor Frazier addressed the Bakersfield City Council on Wednesday during public comment and encouraged them to allow churches to reopen.

As the church awaits approval to open its doors to the congregation, they’re already coming up with their COVID-19 prevention plan.

“I think when we do begin to open we will have service on the inside and then service outside where we can spread out,” Frazier said. “We will also still have service online for people who still aren’t ready. We need to give people time to get ready.”

Another Kern County pastor, who has spoken out is Chad Vegas of Sovereign Grace Church. Vegas says the governor has overstepped his power when it comes to houses of worship.

“The [state] government needs to cease its discriminatory actions right away and I mean they already have been warned by the Federal Department of Justice,” Vegas said. “It’s quite clear and there was a lawsuit that was just launched this afternoon by the Pacific Justice Institute against Gavin Newsom for violating the civil rights of churches.”

When asked about when houses of worship could reopen, Governor Gavin Newsom had this to say about the reopening process.

“As it relates to congregates coming back into the pews we are a few weeks away,” said Newsom. “We are working overtime with leaders in the community to come up with those guidelines and restore that capacity.”

On Thursday, County Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop was asked in a press conference why churches are not included in phase 2 for Kern County.

“I am not sure how you answer it and I am not sure how you reconcile it,” said Alsop. “This is going to be up to the governor’s team and ultimately it’s a part of stage three, they are going to move to stage three in a matter of weeks.”

Coronavirus Testing Sites - Kern County

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State-Provided Sites
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Kern County Fairgrounds
1142 South P Street, Building 4, Access Gate 27

Rosamond Library
3611 Rosamond Blvd, Rosamond CA 93560

Arvin Public Health
204 S Hill Street, Arvin

Wasco Library
1102 7th Street

County-Provided Sites
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Oildale - Good Samaritan Hospital
901 Olive Drive, Bakersfield
  • For Registration call (661) 215-7725
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  • Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am - 8 pm, Saturday 8 am - 12 pm

Ridgecrest - Ridgecrest Regional Hospital
1081 N. China Lake Blvd, Ridgecrest
  • For Registration: Text the word "testing" to 833-774-4968 Or Call 866-774-9984
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  • Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 10:30 am

Delano - Delano Regional Medical Center
1401 Garces Hwy, Delano
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Kern River Valley - Kern Valley Hospital
6412 Laurel Ave, Mt Mesa Wheelchair Logo
  • For Registration call (760) 379-2681 ext 267
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  • Hours: Wednesday - Thursday from 7 am - 2 pm.
Tehachapi - Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley
1100 Magellan Dr 93561

Lamont - Kern County Library
8304 Segrue Road, Lamont, CA 93241
  • For registration call 661-869-6018
  • Drive-Thru and Walk-Up<
  • Testing available for ages 5+ only; parents must be present and give consent for children
  • Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 9 am - 2 pm; Tuesday, Thursday 2 pm - 7 pm

Taft - West Side Health Care District
  • For Registration call (661) 765-1935
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  • Hours: Tuesday – Friday 9 am – 1 pm & 3 pm – 7 pm; Saturday 11 am – 3 pm