Florida governor urges Christians to keep their distance while celebrating Easter

COVID-19 prompts social distancing rules in Florida


ORLANDO, Fla. – Churches across Central Florida are preparing to hold Easter Sunday services in very nontraditional ways due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During a news conference Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis stressed that the state will not close any place of worship, but he stressed the importance of following social distance guidelines.

"As you keep God close during these important religious days, make sure you continue to keep COVID-19 away," DeSantis said.

In recent weeks, many religious organizations have transitioned to digital platforms.

The Catholic Diocese of Orlando has posted a list of parishes that livestream their services.

Calvary Orlando, one of the area’s largest congregations, has also moved exclusively online.

"Surprisingly, our online audience has increased," Executive Pastor Manny Rosario said. "All of our essential employees have really gone way out to really provide more content than we've ever done before."

Since last month, the Fellowship Church of Central Florida has also offered a drive-in worship service at a movie theater parking lot in Mount Dora.

One popular sunrise Easter service is changing as well. Radio station Z88.3 typically hosts a yearly service at SeaWorld Orlando, but this year it’s offering a “Stay-at-Home Easter Sunrise Service.”

The radio station is inviting everyone to listen to the service on the radio at 6:45 a.m. The broadcast will be heard in Orlando on WPOZ 88.3FM and WOTW 103.1FM and in Ocala on WXUS 102.3FM.

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