A new outbreak of COVID-19 cases has been discovered, reportedly stemming from a single sick person who attended an Ohio church service. The man reportedly attended an undisclosed church in mid-June, spreading the virus to several other churchgoers. Less than a month later, an outbreak of nearly 100 COVID-19 cases was found throughout the area.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine spoke to press about the outbreak on Tuesday, August 4. He said a COVID-positive 56-year-old man attended a church service on June 14. According to a case study of the outbreak, 53 people who also attended the event became sick with the disease. Of those, 18 went on to spread the virus to at least one other person. By July 4, 91 total cases were found across five counties.
“It spread like wildfire, wildfire,” Governor DeWine said. “We know that our faith-based leaders want nothing more than to protect those who come to worship.”
Taking to Twitter the same day, DeWine shared a graphic from state health officials illustrating how the outbreak grew from one infection to 91 in under a month.
The governor announced that he would send letters to religious institutions across the state asking them to enforce social distancing.
“Our religious faiths are at the core of our great state and country. We thank our faith-based leaders for all they do to serve God and His people,” he said. “However, it is vital that to control the spread of the virus that any time people gather together, including for religious services, that everyone wear masks, practice social distancing, wash hands, and also while indoors, making sure there is good ventilation and airflow.”
DeWine also tweeted three more examples of small outbreaks the state had recently learned of. In one case, a man with symptoms attended a wedding and infected 15 others, including the bride, groom, and a grandparent.
“None of us want to stay away from our families and of course, it’s natural to want to show affection when you see them,” DeWine said. “But this virus [is] lurking. Please try to remember that you are showing love by protecting them.”
Here are 3 examples of spread within family and friend groups that we learned about this week.— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) August 4, 2020
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