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RACINE – The City of Racine this week removed indoor capacity limits for religious organizations from its list of regulations tied to stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The city changed the limit in response to an April 9 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. The ruling clarified government response to public health emergencies when involving faith-based entities.

The city’s “Safer Racine” ordinance imposed a 75 percent indoor capacity limit at religious organizations, such as churches and other houses of worship, as long as members can maintain social distancing of 6 feet.

The ordinance continues to keep capacity restrictions in place on mass gatherings for special events at religious institutions. That capacity restriction is identical to the restriction for special events at other private and public venues.

Dottie-Kay Bowersox, City of Racine Public Health Administrator, released this statement about the ordinance change: “While I can sincerely appreciate the Supreme Court’s perspective and the need for individuals and families to practice their faith, the transmission of COVID-19 within the City of Racine is increasing. More people are contracting the virus. In order to slow the spread of the virus during this pandemic, it is imperative that individuals continue to social distance, stay home when ill, and wear facial masks. We have modified the ordinance to be compliant with the decision from the Court; however, at the same point, we do recommend that religious institutions consider the health of the community and self-impose capacity limits for the time being until more of our residents are vaccinated.”

The Public Health Administrator is given the authority to modify the City of Racine ordinance, known as Safer Racine, by the Common Council. You can find the updated Safer Racine document at For questions about the ordinance contact, or 262-636-9201.

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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...