SANTA CLARA, Calif. - A Santa Clara County church has been fined $10,000 for violating health restrictions and holding indoor services during the pandemic.
North Valley Baptist Church in Santa Clara was fined $5,000 by the county for holding indoor services on a Sunday morning and another $5,000 for holding service on a Sunday evening.
The church's pastor says he's being called to take a stand and will not let the county prevent his church from holding in-person service.
"We have a First Amendment right. You can't make laws against the church," the church's Pastor Jack Trieber said. "We have the right to worship."
Churches and other houses of worship were ordered to stop holding indoor services back on March 19.
Even outdoor gatherings for worship are subject to Santa Clara County's COVID-19 guidelines and limitations, which includes not allowing more than 60 people.
Several churches across the country have been tied to coronavirus outbreaks.