WACO, Texas – Easter is right around the corner – and with COVID-19 restrictions lifting, the CDC wants to make sure you are staying safe this holiday weekend.
Governor Greg Abbott reopened the state of Texas three weeks ago, which makes Easter one of the first holidays in over a year without statewide restrictions.
“People are going to feel like things are back to normal, but we still have a significant amount of virus in the community. So it’s important that we remain cautious. Even if there is a state mandate in place or not,” says Lashonda Malrey-Horne, the Director of the Waco McLennan County Public Health District.
The CDC and the City of Waco recommend continuing to wear a mask in large gatherings, stay six feet apart, and limit holiday travel.
“The main thing, like I said, is keeping the groups small with close-knit family and friends, people that know [they] have been vaccinated if you don’t want to wear a mask. If you are with people who don’t know if they have been vaccinated or not, make sure to wear a mask as much as possible,” says Malrey-Horne.
Churches across the state are preparing for Easter Sunday services and making sure they are taking the proper precautions against the virus.
Mount Zion United Methodist Church in Belton is taking several precautions already – such as checking temperatures, wearing masks, and keeping socially distant during services.
“One of the things we do is we skip pews, and we sit people in opposite ends of the pews. The pews are 10-12 feet long. We will have one person on one pew in the east corner, and then we will skip an entire pew, and the next pew will have someone in the west corner,” says Teon Bass, Pastor of Mount Zion United Methodist Church.
In preperation for this upcoming Sunday, the church has added a drive-up option.
“This Sunday we will have communion. And so, for those who don’t feel comfortable coming in can drive up and stay in their cars, as well,” says Bass.