Trump just declared houses of worship essential. Mounting evidence shows they're super-spreader hotspots. - 2020-05-22
Although many people want to return to houses of worship, especially during a scary and stressful time, mounting evidence shows these places to be among the riskiest for coronavirus spread.
Clusters of infections can often be traced back to a super-spreader event, in which one person infects an atypically large number of people. So far, these events have shared a few key characteristics: They've mostly been indoors and put lots of people from different households in close, extended contact. That's precisely the type of gathering that churches, mosques, and synagogues facilitate.
"You can't have a super-spreading event unless there are a lot of people around, so you have to be very careful still about gatherings of people of any size — that includes religious services," William Schaffner, an infectious-disease expert from Vanderbilt University, told Business Insider.