Court reverses decision to allow indoor worship services in Santa Clara County

The debate over indoor gatherings in Santa Clara County continues after a court reversed its earlier decision. 

On Thursday night, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California temporarily suspended its Monday order that required the county to allow indoor worship services after they were banned to curb the spread of COVID. 

Santa Clara County's ban on indoor worship services can remain in place until the court makes a final decision on the issue. 

The court's reversal follows the county's request for the court to reconsider lifting the ban, "in light of important differences between the County’s across-the-board rules on gatherings and the State’s specific rules for worship services that were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court." 

Santa Clara County said its ban does not specifically target religious institutions. 

"The County’s rules prohibiting indoor gatherings are even-handed, designed to reduce the likelihood of super-spreader events and other transmission of COVID-19, and apply to all gatherings, regardless of their purpose," said James R. Williams, County Counsel. "They are therefore fundamentally different from the State rules specific to places of worship that were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court."