SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Local churches in Shreveport are taking precautions to protect their congregations in response to the increase in COVID cases as the omicron variant spreads through the community.

The Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church and Philadelphia Seventh-day Adventist church in Shreveport have closed once again because of the coronavirus. This time was their choice.

“We had a report of positive cases among people who had been in the church and so we could not without, A an abundance of caution, but B love of our neighbor man do anything other than to disperse,” said Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church pastor Theron Jackson.

Both churches say they’re moving services online until further notice to safely serve their congregation.

Philadelphia Seventh-day Adventist Church pastor Jimmie Gibson said, “As much as church is necessary and needed, and a relationship with God is necessary, these are things that we can do in our homes.”

He says they will continue to have repeated outbreaks if they become too relaxed in their efforts.

However, the Holy Trinity Catholic Church is still open, but they are taking extra measures to protect churchgoers.

“We reinstated the mask requirement for all in church. We’ve also made hand sanitizer stations available and a supply of masks at each entrance,” said Father Duane Trombetta, “and we’re using these new electrostatic sanitizer guns to keep our pews clean.”

The church is following social distancing rules, and they are not requiring people to attend Sunday mass if they are sick or caring for a loved one at home. He says it’s essential that churchgoers feel safe.

“It’s obviously our goal that we keep our churches open so that people can come in community worship and celebrate the sacraments.”

For those that choose to attend service from home, they have also installed a video and audio system in the church.