calendar June 4, 2020 in Communications, Public Health

Yellow Phase Faith in Philadelphia

Last week, the City of Philadelphia unveiled Safer at Home, a plan and executive order outlining the strategy for how Philadelphia will begin to reopen for business when the current Stay-at-Home Order is lifted, which is expected to occur later this week.  The plan specifically outlines guidance for religious communities. Highlights include:

  • Gatherings of over 25 people are prohibited by the state until the Green Phase. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health recommends that NO gatherings of any size be held until the Green Phase.
  • Require all congregants to mask while on site.
  • DO NOT allow choir practice, performance, or ANY group singing until public health authorities have given guidance on the safety of group singing. Consider refraining from responsive/group reading as well.
  • Continue to offer remote service options even if in-person services resume to offer a safe option to those who need it.
  • If possible, offer staggered service times to increase physical distancing.
  • Use signage, floor decals, or other visual cues to encourage individuals and groups to space themselves at least 6 feet from others.
  • Rope off rows of chairs or pews so that congregants can only sit in every 3rd row.
  • For gatherings where congregants pray on mats, separate mats by at least 6 feet.
  • Separate the service leader from front row of congregants and from other service leaders as much as possible, keeping in mind that 6 feet may be inadequate because of vocal projection.
  • Do not share items such as communion cups or offertory plates.
  • Food and drink should not be served or consumed at services or gatherings until the Green Phase.

To learn more about the City’s Safer-at-Home Plan, visit

Update: June 11, 2020

A recording of the webinar “Yellow Phase Faith: Questions and Considerations for Houses of Worship,” along with slides and notes, can be viewed here.

A summary of the city’s recommendations can be downloaded in English and in Spanish

Join us next Wednesday, June 10, at 11am, for Yellow Phase Faith: Questions and Considerations for Houses of Worship, a special COVID-19 Update Call for Faith Leaders. Register below.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.