Outdoor Seating Guidelines for Religious Services


In accordance with Governor John Bel Edwards’ COVID-19 Proclamation to be released May 1, 2020, any outdoor religious and places of worship venue must adhere to strict mitigation standards in preventing the spread of COVID-19. The general operating matrix will require spacing of groups, limiting concentration of people, strict use of PPE, and frequent sanitizing.

The specific requirements are provided below:

Life Safety and Egress:
Open areas with or without temporary tents, subject to local or parish rules and ordinances, must meet NFPA 101 Life Safety Code and must be open on all sides (no barriers). The tent must not be enclosed. The following conditions are required:

The capacity is subject to social distancing requirements and spacing of seated attendees with strict supervision provided by crowd managers;
Limit group seating to persons who are members of the same household;
Modify human contact as part of any religious ceremony
State approved fire extinguisher within 75 feet of tent area; and
Minimum 7-foot, 6-inch head room (ceiling height)

Crowd Managers shall be provided to call for emergency evacuation, enforce social distancing requirements, assign seating to attendees and further manage any movement of people throughout the service.
This function can be performed by church ushers, staff or leadership;
One Crowd Manager shall be provided for every 50 persons in attendance;

In the event of a fire or other emergency they must call for evacuation and then call 911;

Maintain 6-foot distance between persons or congregated people of a household from others when entering, moving about, seating and exiting; and Seating of persons or congregated people of a household shall be assigned in a manner that allows spacing of at least 6-feet from all other individuals seated (This applies to seating available or either side, forward and behind).

Louisiana Department of Health Guidance:

It is encouraged that persons be asked not to attend if they are 65 years or older or have the identified comorbid, chronic health conditions

Personal Protective Equipment

Crowd Managers are required to wear face masks

Crowd Managers should wear gloves when handling chairs and other items as part of their duties, and should wash their hands before and after assisting with set up/breakdown

It is strongly recommended that attendees wear face masks

Cleaning of Outdoor Areas and Other Items

Clean the area or item with soap and water or another detergent, if it is visibly dirty.

Then, use disinfectant

Tables, chairs, seats and other items used in the service should be cleaned between services.

Recommended Cleaning Products
Clean the area or item with soap and water or another detergent, if it is dirty. Then, use disinfectant

Recommend use of EPA-registered household disinfectant. Follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product

Many products recommend:

Keeping surface wet for a period of time (see product label)
Precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product

Diluted household bleach solutions may also be used if appropriate for the surface.

Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection, and ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Some bleaches, such as those designed for safe use on colored clothing or for whitening, may not be suitable for disinfection o Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted

Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser o Leave solution on the surface for at least 1 minute

To make a bleach solution, mix: 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water, or o 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol may also be used

11 thoughts on “Outdoor Seating Guidelines for Religious Services

  1. Come on folks. Yes, we need to be aware of any government take overs BUT we need to realize that these guidelines are set to try and stop the spread of this deadly virus. Like not crowding into stores and heaven forbid take your children ( and that has been seen in several stores.), or not wearing a mask.

    People think this virus won’t happen to them. Tell that to the five families mourning for their loved ones who died in our parish. Have you seen the gradual increase…not decrease, of the virus cases in Northern Louisiana and in our parish. Folks please be practical. Follow for your own good these mandates and suggestions that have come down. Let our country heal physically. Then if you think you need to get out there and speak for our rights do so.

    I beg you to do this as the sooner you do, the sooner we all may be able to resume our normal lives. As far as my husband who is immune suppressed, we are carefully following them. He would not survive this virus. So we do online grocery shopping. I really appreciate Super one in Dixie Plaza. Those young men and women have gone above board helping me keep him well.

    Won’t you do your part, or will one of your family be the next victim? Heaven forbid. Praying for all in our parish and country.

  2. Amazing that churches could first acquiesce to closing their buildings and abandoning their traditional services and ministries, and now they are being told to meet on a parking lot. What is more amazing is that there has thus far been no spiritual leadership willing to stand against the coercion of government. Freedom of religion was enshrined in Amendment 1 of the Constitution as a direct result of the efforts of John Leland, a colonial Virginia Baptist preacher along with others who refused to support the adoption of a Constitution unless there were permanent guarantees for free religious expression. Apparently, few people today have any regard for history, or the implications of quietly forfeiting that history. Oh, I never read in the Bible about being spiritually gifted as a crowd manager. Freedom ain’t free, and preserving it may have an even higher price, but no one seems willing to pay.

    • “Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither.” – Benjamin Franklin

        • I am a history nut…I was just quoting Ben Franklin. Threw it out there as “food for thought.”

        • Without liberty, life is not worth living. Those who are sacrificing their liberty in this situation have forgotten what it means to be an American…if they ever knew. I repeat, “crowd managers?” In a CHURCH??

        • That is called “self sacrifice” and should never be confused with government force or coercion demanding same under the guise of health and safety.

          • Mike,why do you think these laws are demands under the guise of health and safety? Are you saying that there is no threat to health and safety? How many people have to die or suffer the agony of being on a ventilator?

  3. “Crowd managers?” Are you kidding me? Seen any “crowd managers” at WalMart? How about the liquor stores? Wake up, people! This is NOT about your health; this is about CONTROL!!

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