The governor's new regulations which raise the attendance limits for houses of worship to 50%, while maintaining social distancing and mask wearing will not have much of a practical effect on small to medium size worship spaces like Holy Cross. Simply put, we cannot significantly increase attendance limits without easing the social distancing requirements at the same time.
Masses at Holy Cross have not even reached the old maximum allowed 30% with safe limits. Chief demand for increased capacity comes for gatherings over which we have much less control and cooperation from the congregation (weddings and funerals). Some families interpret "household seating" very loosely, especially when guests arrive from out of town. Mask wearing compliance is generally good, but unreasonable demands are placed on the restroom facilities - especially that guests should sanitize the space after use. It becomes difficult to minimize congregating in the gathering space and on stairways during these events. Keep in mind we have a handful of volunteer funeral and wedding coordinators on hand for these events.
Should the governor or the bishop allow closer seating with mask wearing, the situation will truly change.
The seating guidelines represent a combination of both what is allowed and what is safely feasible in each worship space and with each parish's personnel and volunteer staff.
Under the present circumstances, no changes will be made to the seating guidelines at Holy Cross.