As you may have heard, the governor of California has lifted the Stay at Home order in regard to religious institutions. The easing of the Stay at Home order is governed by extremely strict and rigorous criteria that religious institutions, such as the Temple, must meet prior to reopening. The county of Los Angeles has in principle accepted this recommendation with the same strict criteria for reopening. The criteria for reopening the Temple may be summarized as follows:
- Attendance must be limited to 25% of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower;
- All visitors should wear face coverings/ face masks, and practice 6 ft. physical distancing at all times;
- All visitors should be screened for temperature and/or symptoms upon arrival. Those who are sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, or who have family members who are ill, are encouraged to stay home;
- Discontinue passing offering plates and similar items which are passed around.
- Discontinue singing, group recitation, and other performances which have increased likelihood for transmission from contaminated exhaled droplets;
Based on the criteria just announced by the governor of California and ratified by the Los Angeles county on May 26, 2020, the Temple immediately went on an implementation mode. After carefully considering the steps we have to take internally within the Temple in order to reopen, we have come to the conclusion that the Temple can reopen only on Monday, June 8, 2020. This is being done not only to fully meet the criteria set by the State of California and the County of Los Angeles, but also to ensure the health and safety of the priests, staff, and the devotees of the Temple. We have always considered the safety of our community to be our topmost priority in planning all our activities in the Temple thus far. We will provide you a detailed plan for the reopening on June 8, 2020 shortly. We request you to exercise patience and continue to cooperate with us in all these measures. In following the new protocols, we will protect each other in the larger interest of the community.
Prior to the scheduled reopening of the Temple on Monday, June 8, 2020, we will have a special program on Sunday, June 7, 2020. The priests—Krishnamacharyulu, Prasad, Prasanna, and Bharani—will be performing the Mrityunjaya and Dhanvanthari Homams and Maha Poornahuti on Sunday, June 7, 2020 at 10 AM PST. This program is being presented in lieu of the regular abhishekam and maha aarti to Lord Venkastewara and shiva abhishekam and aarti to Lord Shiva that we have been presenting on Saturdays and Sundays. Please join us for that event and we will all pray on the eve of the reopening of the Temple on June 8th for the health and well-being of all of us.
In the meantime, we will continue to have our live streaming services available on Saturdays and Sundays at least up until June 8, 2020. We truly hope that you will all continue to participate in these virtual programs so that we come together as a community and have a shared experience of worshipping at the Malibu Hindu Temple. We once again urge you to generously donate to enable us to continue to operate the Temple for the benefit of the community. We also wish to thank all those who have made contributions in the last few weeks.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation. Together, we’ll rebuild this Temple as our legacy and beacon of spirituality for many, many years to come.
Nadadur S. Kumar
General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer
Hindu Temple Society of Southern California