Grand Island doctors: Keep churches closed

Published: Apr. 29, 2020 at 5:07 PM CDT
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Grand Island doctors Wednesday urged local clergy to keep their churches closed. They responded to a statement made last week by Governor Ricketts. In a statement provided to Local4 by Dr. Libby Crockett, the doctors said Grand Island churches should wait until the number of COVID-19 cases starts to decrease.

Here is the full statement:

"On April 24, Governor Ricketts announced “loosened restrictions” to take effect in early May in certain Nebraska counties less affected by COVID19 than Hall. His news release also included that, “statewide, people will be allowed to attend religious services, but those from

different households will have to keep six feet away from each other.” This means, even in Hall County, places of worship may start to open their doors.

We understand and respect the unique benefit of gathering in the fellowship of others who share your faith. However, Grand Island differs from the majority of Nebraska communities because of our wide community spread of COVID19. Throughout the nation, experts agree

there should be 14 days of steady decline in new cases prior to “re-opening.” Here in our city we are still seeing a rising rate of new COVID19 cases. This is not the time to back off our social distancing by going in person to worship together.

As stated in a recent DHHS update sent to religious leaders, faith leaders are responsible for the safety of those who attend services. In our community, we know that those leaders want what is best for their congregations.

Physicians of the Grand Island medical community do not recommend resumption of religious gatherings May 4. We do not believe congregants can be truly protected, even sitting six feet from other families, while Grand Island’s community spread is still rising. Our families are too important. Even though many of us are missing the chance to worship together, we strongly recommend delaying until it is safe to gather."

Grand Island Clinic

Nebraska Medicine - Internal Medical Associates

Family Practice of Grand Island

Prairie Center Internal Medicine & Nephrology

Nebraska Heart Institute

Heartland Radiology

Surgery Group of Grand Island

Grand Island Dermatology

Gleason-Janky Eye Physicians

Grand Island Ear, Nose, and Throat Clinic

Central Nebraska Orthopedics

Dr. Jennifer King

Dr. Lori Harkins

Grand Island Hospitalist and Critical Care - Pulmonology Physicians

Grand Island Oncology Physicians

Grand Island Emergency Medicine Physicians"

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