While governors across the country are targeting churches for closure and critics are pointing the finger at faith groups during outbreaks of COVID-19, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department director says that church related exposures are only a small part of cases in the county.
SGCHD Director Clay Goddard reported that just 2.4 percent of cases in the county since July 1 have been connected to a church. This means only 38 cases out of the 1,581 since July 1 have a connection to a religious gathering.
“Our faith leaders have done incredible work in bringing their congregations back together in a safe manner,” Goddard wrote on social media. “Thank you for your incredible work!”
Compared to the most recent reports, cases connected to religious worship are almost four times less than “community spread” cases, and almost nine times less than cases connected to domestic travel.
One Greene County Commissioner who had expressed his support months earlier for the reopening of churches without restrictions responded positively to the health director’s comments.
“I never had any doubt,” Commissioner John Russell wrote on Twitter.