Are baptism services allowed?

Yes, with restrictions. Gatherings are a significant contributor to the spread of COVID-19, requiring restrictions to allow for a balance between safety and beliefs, rituals, and traditions. If the following guidelines cannot be followed, visitors will not be allowed. Baptisms with as few persons in attendance as possible is preferred. Baptisms may be supplemented by remote access through video streaming with a physical presence of no more than of 10 persons in attendance, supplemented with video for viewing by more than 10 people if desired, and is considered the safest option by the Public Health Department, or in-person is allowed with no more than 10 people present.

  • No more than 10 persons including clergy and technical assistance shall be physically present for baptism services; no rotation of those 10 persons physically present is allowed.
  • Wherever possible, all baptismal fonts are to be drained to discourage parishioners from dipping their hands in the water. Use blessed water only from a single-use bottle for baptisms.
  • Use only new water for each person being baptized.
  • Participants from different households should avoid direct physical contact.
  • No ill persons shall be in attendance of baptism services.
  • All persons must wear a face covering, except that cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing per CDC guidelines:, and maintain social distancing of 6 feet from other individuals.
  • Baptism services shall be no more than 30 minutes.

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1. What does this Order do?
2. When does the Order go into effect?
3. How long does the Order last?
4. Can the Order be changed?
5. Where is the Order in effect?
6. Who issued the Order?
7. What happens if I don’t comply with this Order?
8. Why is this Order in place?
9. What is the difference between “stay at home” and “social distancing”?
10. Can I leave home to visit friends or family members if there is no urgent need or I am not performing an essential activity (as defined under the Order)?
11. Can I still get my mail and deliveries?
12. Can I still order the things I need online and have them delivered to my residence?
13. Can I go out to do my laundry or have my laundry done?
14. Can I leave home to go to the pharmacy to get my prescription filled?
15. What if I need to get healthcare from my medical provider?
16. Can I still seek not yet authorized to reopen medical care like eye exams, teeth cleaning, elective procedures, etc.?
17. Should I stock up on essential items such as food, toilet paper, and medicines?
18. What should I do if I’m sick? If I or a family member need immediate medical attention, can I leave home to go to the doctor or hospital?
19. Can I leave home to care for my elderly parents or friends who require assistance to care for themselves? Or a friend or family member who has disabilities?
20. Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facility?
21. Can I leave home to attend services at my church, synagogue, mosque or place of worship?
22. I operate a funeral home. Are funeral services allowed?
23. Can I host a memorial service or a traditional ceremony in my home and invite family and friends to attend?
24. What if I can’t get out of the home? How can I get supplies and food?
25. Can I leave home to exercise?
26. I feel anxious being home, can I go to a park? Can I travel to a County park or open space if I social distance?
27. Are Parks open and can I visit them?
28. Can I take my kids to the playgrounds at the park?
29. Can I go shopping for things other than food/groceries?
30. Can I go to a bar/nightclub/theater?
31. Can golf courses remain open, if i social distance myself from others?
32. Can I go to a restaurant, café, coffee or tea shop, ice cream shop, or other foodservice locations?
33. I don’t cook, can I leave my home to purchase meals?
34. Can I walk my dog/pet?
35. Can I take my pet to the vet, pet hospital, or groomer?
36. How can I access free or reduced-price meals for myself or my family?
37. Can I carry out a court-ordered visit with my kids?
38. Will all business offices and stores be required to close?
39. What are “Essential Businesses” required to do to operate?
40. I run an essential business, as defined by the Order. Do I need to get an official letter of authorization from the County to operate?
41. I work for an eligible business, as defined by the Order. Do I need to have a letter from my employer or other documentation to travel?
42. I operate a farm, am I allowed to continue my operation and have employees report to work?
43. What if my business is not yet authorized to reopen? Does this Order require that I close my business facility?
44. I currently receive benefits through Merced County’s Human Services Agency. Will this order interrupt my benefits?
45. Does this Order require that schools shut down?
46. Will this order prevent companies working on vaccines and testing for COVID-19 from continuing to do that work?
47. I am in the business of manufacturing food that I supply to grocery stores and other food retailers. Am I required to close?
48. Does the Order require that businesses stop work that is necessary to our health care system?
49. Can my company continue construction on a health care facility?
50. What other construction is allowed to continue?
51. My business principally manufactures, supplies, or repairs cell phones. Can it continue to operate?
52. Are non-profit organizations allowed to continue operating?
53. What if some of the work my business does at its facility is essential and some is not yet authorized to reopen?
54. I operate a “big box store” that sells some clothing in addition to groceries, electronics, and hardware. Do I close off the part of my store that is not yet authorized to reopen?
55. What if I have a cafeteria at my worksite. Can it continue to operate to serve workers who are carrying out work exempted in the Order?
56. Is the local government shutting down?
57. I work for the government, Can I continue to go to work?
58. What do I do if my employer requires me to go to work?
59. I work in a hospital or medical clinic, but I’m not sure I’m essential. Should I continue to work? What if I’m over 60?
60. What do I do about my kids? I have to work.
61. Can bike repair shops continue to operate?
62. Can my company continue to provide janitorial services?
63. Can grocery stores, farmers markets, and other food retailers remain open?
64. If my child’s school is providing food or meals, can I leave home to go to the school to pick up the food or meals?
65. Can warehouses and distribution centers that supply businesses that ship and deliver stay open?
66. I work for an essential infrastructure organization, can I leave home to go to work?
67. What if I want to go to work at a physical location in the County and I’m not sick?
68. Can I operate a business that sells things that can be delivered to people's homes? Can I shift more of my business to a delivery model?
69. My business provides critical services and products for the federal government that we are required to provide on a time-certain basis- can we continue to manufacture these products?
70. I work in a cemetery - can I go to work?
71. Are daycare facilities allowed to operate?
72. Can home service workers who clean homes continue to provide their services?
73. I am a nanny. Will I get in trouble if I go to work?
74. Can I get a ride in my favorite ride share/on demand service or a taxi?
75. Can I take public transport (bus, subway, train)?
76. Am I allowed to leave the areas covered by this Order to travel to/from a job outside the Bay Area? Does the Order allow me to leave the County?
77. I am currently on vacation outside the County—does the Order allow me to return home?
78. If I’m outside the County travelling for business-does this Order allow me to return home?
79. I’m visiting and staying in a hotel, with family/friends, or in a short-term rental. What should I do? Can I go home?
80. What if I’m in a line and there isn’t six feet between me and others?
81. What if my plumbing gets stopped up or there is another problem with necessary equipment at my home? How will I access those sorts of services?
82. What do I do about my loved one who needs care from me?
83. What are the guidelines for staying at home under the Health Officers latest Health Order dated May 8th, 2020?
84. Are baptism services allowed?
85. What businesses are authorized to open under stage 2.5?
86. What are the specific guidelines that businesses must follow in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19?
87. Child Care Facilities
88. Child Care Centers