A Santa Clara church that has racked up more than $50,000 in fines for public health violations is expected to go ahead with indoor services Wednesday evening.
North Valley Baptist Church holds regular Wednesday evening services, and for the past two weeks, the services have been held inside despite numerous fines.
Pastor Jack Trieber posted a public plea to government agencies to stop what he described as harassment.
"You cannot take away our right to assemble," he said. "County, the state of California, it must stop. One, I’m asking you to stop all fines, and two, I’m asking you to remove all fines."
This week, the pastor posted a 10-minute video with his reasoning for reopening, noting that there hasn’t been a spike in cases locally, and they are following protocols inside.
However, the county counsel sees it differently, and they said that there are not enough masks or adequate social distancing. Videos posted to the church’s website appear to show just that.
Out of 150 complaints the counsel has received, the church is just one of two that keeps holding indoor services.
“Concerning examples of folks not following the public health directives, and as a result putting not only their own congregations, but in fact all of us at risk,” said James Williams of the Santa Clara County Counsel.
Members of the county's COVID-19 enforcement team met Wednesday to discuss what to do about the church's defiance.