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Peoria County Sheriff: no in-person religious services during stay-at-home order

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Peoria (WEEK) -- With Easter right around the corner the stay-at-home order is especially difficult for those who wish to participate in religious services.

The Peoria County sheriff is reminding groups they are not allowed to congregate in person, even if you're in your vehicle.

Sheriff Brian Asbell says his deputies responded to a church in Mapleton yesterday. There were 20 cars in the parking lot for a service.

Asbell says the stay-at-home order does not allow for any kind of religious services because the order does not label them as an essential businesses.

He knows this is going to hurt a lot of people, "in my 25 years I never thought that we would have having these conversations," he said at Thursday's briefing. "I never thought that we would have to be enforcing these types of rules, but they're necessary right now. Public Safety and Public Health have one mission right now and that's to prevent the spread and to save lives."

He's encouraging religious groups to hold virtual services online.

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