BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — As the number of COVID-19 cases increases nationwide, some churches have decided to go virtual as an extra precaution.

In November, The Worship Center Christian Church reopened its doors, but with some new protocols.

“We do temperature checks; people have to register to attend service and we have a mask mandate in place, so everyone has to wear masks,” said Bishop Van Moody with The Worship Center Christian Church.

Moody and his team decided to make the decision to hold Christmas services online this year due to rising COVID cases.

“In light of the Omicron variant, we are doing our Christmas Eve and Christmas day services exclusively online. But we will have our New Year’s Eve service in person, but we are still taking extreme precautions, masks, temperature checks, we’re seating people six feet apart and people are sitting every other row,” Moody said.

Across town, Red Mountain Church tells us they’ve decided to only hold a service in person on Sunday with precautions and a virtual online option.

“Currently masks are optional for those who are vaccinated including children, but we ask that people who are not vaccinated and working with children continue to wear masks,” said Jeff Koonce with Red Mountain Church.

Koonce and his team have been working with local health professionals for guidance on how to best keep their congregation safe during the holidays.

“We have a team of doctors that are members of our church, we consult with them. So, we have frequent conversations with them, and they advise us on what to do. We had a conversation with one of them this past week about Omicron and keeping an eye on it. If it gets worse, we will have a discussion on how to change our protocols,” said Koonce.

Local health leaders are continuing to remind people to stay home if they’re feeling ill, make time to get tested before seeing loved ones and mask up if they are in large group settings.