Healthy Communities

COVID-19 Guidance for Places of Worship

Effective May 4, 2020
Updated November 10, 2020

The Secretary of Health, in consultation with the Governor, has sole authority over all instances of quarantine, isolation, and restrictions on commerce and travel throughout Arkansas, as necessary and appropriate to control disease in the state of Arkansas as authorized by Ark. Code Ann. §20-7-109--110. Based on available scientific evidence, it is necessary and appropriate to take further action to ensure that COVID-19 remains controlled and that residents and visitors in Arkansas remain safe.

Although places of worship were excluded from the Governor’s Executive Order 20-10 issued on March 26, 2020, in conjunction with the Directive on Limitations on Gatherings, most faith leaders in Arkansas did comply with the spirit of that Directive and ceased holding worship services in person and moved worship instead to an online or outdoor platform for their congregants. The Governor issued further limitations that applied to places of worship in the Governor’s Executive Order 20-13 on April 4, 2020, in conjunction with the Directive that provided further social distancing protocols.

Arkansas has seen a large increase in COVID-19 case numbers since Phase 1 of Reopening Arkansas began on May 4. The Arkansas Department of Health’s (ADH’s) analysis of the data since reopening shows that asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic people with COVID-19 are attending places of worship. In places where the guidelines below are being adhered to, ADH is not seeing transmission occur. However, in places where people are not observing the guidance on masking and practicing physical distancing, ADH are seeing many cases of transmission within faith communities. Therefore, during Phase 2 of Reopening Arkansas, places of worship need to continue to comply with the following guidance:



CDC Guidance

CDC has a webpage with additional guidelines on COVID-19 for community and places of worship. To learn more about CDC recommendations, click here.


Public Health Accrediation Board
Arkansas Department of Health
© 2017 Arkansas Department of Health. All Rights Reserved.
4815 W. Markham, Little Rock, AR 72205-3867