In San Jose, California, a judge has ordered a church to pay a staggering fine of over 1 million dollars for holding extensive, unmasked services during the pandemic.
San Jose’s Calvary Chapel was fined $1.2 million last week for defying Santa Clara County’s mask-wearing laws between November 2020 and June 2021.
Cavalry will file an appeal, attorney Mariah Gondeiro declared.
During what was thought to be the deadliest period of the outbreaks, some large California churches, including Calvary, violated local and state laws mandating attendance to wear masks and social distancing. As a result, a web of legal challenges and judicial rulings has emerged.
Calvary Church sued the county, claiming the health regulations violated its right to religious freedom. Many courts have issued rulings that sided with the state or the church.
The church and its pastors have been fined and placed in contempt of court for violating the ban on holding public gatherings in buildings. This year, however, a state appellate court reversed those rulings, concluding that the restrictions on the house of worship gatherings were more stringent than those on a nonreligious activity like walking to the grocery shop.
The county, however, continued to issue fines to anyone who had disregarded the ban on masks at Calvary Church.
Judge Pennypacker claims that the church ignored health standards and invited others to do likewise, not caring about the cost – including death.
Williams claims that thousands of lives were saved due to the county’s reaction to the epidemic, which included the health officer’s public health directives and enforcement against companies that failed to follow the law.
More than 101,000 people in California have perished from the virus, according to the state’s public health services. Governor Gavin Newsom of California declared the condition out of an emergency a few months ago since death and infection rates have dropped since the virus’s peak.
The mandatory vaccine and masking requirements in California’s hospitals and jails were lifted on Friday, said the state’s Department of Public Health (CDPH).