A church in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area is confronting a massive COVID-19 outbreak.
According to the Mecklenburg County Public Health, there have been 68 confirmed COVID-19 cases potentially connected with convocation events held at the United House of Prayer For All People. The events were held from October 4 to 11.
Among the 68 confirmed cases, there have been four hospitalizations and two fatalities. Six of the confirmed cases were among residents of an assisted living facility.
In response, public health officials have been attempting to conduct contact tracing to identify other possible cases. As of Wednesday, there were 94 close contacts that public health officials were attempting to reach.
Complicating matters, Deputy Health Director Dr. Raynard Washington said that several attendees traveled from abroad.
Churches have been a concern for public health officials since the start of the pandemic, prompting many religious institutions to have online or outdoor services amid the pandemic.
Another major church-related outbreak was reported in Ohio during the summer. Fifty-three attendees became infected with the coronavirus in July prompting concern from Gov. Mike DeWine.
Early in the pandemic in March, according to the CDC, 53 members of a Skagit County, Washington, church choir who participated in a March 10 practice had a confirmed or probably case of the coronavirus.
“The act of singing, itself, might have contributed to transmission through emission of aerosols, which is affected by loudness of vocalization,” the CDC said.