Windsor

Charge laid after dozens attend church in Dresden: police

After the service, around 73 people were spotted leaving the church, none of whom were wearing masks, according to police

Police said 73 people seen leaving church without masks

After the service, around 73 people were spotted leaving the church, none of whom were wearing masks, according to police. (Chatham-Kent Police Service)

Chatham-Kent police say a charge has been laid after dozens of people attended a church service in Dresden.

Officers responded to a report of a gathering at Old Colony Mennonite Church on Grove Mills Line on Sunday, the police service said in a media release on Thursday.

According to police, there were 56 cars in the lot, and more arriving when the officer arrived. After the service, around 73 people were spotted leaving the church, none of whom were wearing masks.

Under the current provincial shutdown and stay-at-home order, religious gatherings have a limit of 10 people. 

Under the act, the minimum fine for hosting a gathering that violates capacity limits is $10,000. The maximum penalty is $100,000 and a year in jail.

On Wednesday, a 38-year-old Dresden man who is a church member was charged with failing to comply with a continued order under the the Reopening Ontario Act, police said.

Last week, a man was charged following a gathering at Old Colony Mennonite Church in Wheatley.

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