MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The first weekend under a county-wide mask mandate reinstated due to a resurgence in COVID-19 infections, but the mandate includes exceptions for churches and others, a pastor said that they should be compulsory for every church.
A sign said masks were mandatory, greeting anyone entering Greater Imani Church, the Cathedral of Faith, in Raleigh.
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This is where Rev. Bill Adkins said masks were mandatory for all in-person church services throughout the pandemic.
“God gives us doctors; he gives us doctors; it gives us scientists, ”Adkins said.
The most recent health guideline from the Shelby County Health Department spells out several guidelines for wearing them, but it’s on page four where she singles out several exceptions.
Among them, they do not have to be carried indoors in a “place of worship” unless the church requires it.
“When clinicians, scientists, doctors tell you that we have to wear a mask not just for our own safety but for the safety of others, I believe them,” Adkins said.
The directive comes as the county sees an explosion of COVID-19 cases, skyrocketing on Sunday to reach the highest number of active cases on record at any given time.
There were 8,287 active cases as of Sunday morning.
The number of active cases was also a 358% increase from a month ago, according to a review by FOX13.
But still, the mandate has opponents.
Adkins called this “extreme hypocrisy”.
“Yesterday I saw a woman on television claiming that God had not given us a mask to cover our noses and faces. She said this while she was wearing glasses, ”he said.
Regarding churches that do not require masks, Adkins said “we do not serve the same God, for obedience is part of my service to my Lord.”
The mandate is in effect for 30 days, according to the Department of Health.
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