Healthy Communities

COVID-19 Guidance for Places of Worship

Effective Date: May 4, 2020 Phase 1 Reopening Places of Worship
Updated: July 2, 2020 Phase 2 considerations
Updated: Nov. 10, 2020 Increased emphasis on congregational masking while singing
Updated: March 19, 2021
Updated June 24, 2021 following CDC Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People


The State of Arkansas respects the separate and unique role of the church and does not have mandates or directives for houses of worship. This document reflects guidance and no directives. The community spread of COVID-19 remains active within Arkansas. Therefore, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) makes the following recommendations for the prevention of transmission of COVID-19 in places of worship. This Guidance was updated on June 24, 2021, to reflect new advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding decreased masking requirements for fully vaccinated people.

Here are links to ADH’s updated guidances on Face Coverings and Physical Distancing and the CDC’s updated guidance for fully vaccinated people:

Places of worship are public settings where people who are fully vaccinated and those who are not yet fully vaccinated are likely to mix. Many congregants may be older or have underlying health conditions. Further, individuals commonly engage in singing, an activity that is known to increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19 (if carried out unmasked). Therefore, some places of worship may choose to continue to require that all congregants wear masks for the protection of all who attend.

Other considerations:



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