Places of worship are monitoring the latest from government and health leaders as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

What You Need To Know

  • Religious leaders keeping track of pandemic
  • Officials say they're in no rush to reopen
  • Services have been moved online

​Tabassam Javed, president of the Islamic Center of Rochester, said, “We are not seeing anything opening up in the traditional way for at least a couple of months.”

Faith leaders at places of worship in the Rochester area say they are in no rush to get back to the old normal when it comes to in-person services.

“We’re concerned about an outbreak when things open up and we don’t want to rush people back and have them get sick in services,” said Meredith Dragon, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester.

As the pandemic has carried on, prayer and worship services across many faiths have moved to online and social media platforms, a move that in some cases, has gathered the faithful even closer.

Dragon added, “It certainly isn’t the same, but I think people have found meaning and in some cases, we’ve found more people have been attending services actually on Zoom than in person.”

Bishop Prince Singh, right reverend of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester said, “We are praying a lot more, not necessary together in one place, but even our interactions through technology is enhancing our sense of community.”

Religious leaders that Spectrum News talked to acknowledged things will be very different once people are allowed to worship in a shared space again.

“If the six-foot distance is going to still be implemented, it’s going to make it very difficult for us to have the same number of people in the space we have,” said Javed.

Some places of worship have thought about moving worship outside, and limiting singing during services to keep people safe and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“It is one of the clearest ways in which the infection is spread,” said Bishop Singh.

Leaders of the Rochester Catholic Diocese, Episcopal Diocese, Islamic Center, and Jewish Federation all tell Spectrum News they are waiting on guidance from state and local officials on how and when they can safely reopen services in our community.