COLUMBUS, OH (WJW) – A man who had COVID-19 and attended a church service infected 91 other people in Ohio, according to Gov. Mike DeWine.
DeWine, who said it happened in June, released the information this week at a press conference detailing state efforts to keep religious institutions informed on accurate information about COVID-19 and its spread.
“This slide shows the spread of the virus to at least 91 different people, resulting from just one person with COVID-19 who attended a church service. It spread like wildfire. Wildfire. Very, very scary,” DeWine said.
DeWine did not name the church or the community. He says the infected person who went to the service was a 56-year-old man.
Fifty-three church members got sick, and 18 of those infected also spread it to someone else.
Those sickened included children as young as 1 year old.
“We know that our faith-based leaders want nothing more than to protect those who come to worship. We want to provide our faith communities with all the information we can from doctors, health experts, to arm them with the tools to conduct services safely,” DeWine said. “Our religious faiths are at the core of our great state and our great country. We thank our faith-based leaders for all they do to serve God and God’s people.”
DeWine said he’s worked hard to exempt religious services from state regulations, outside of asking people to wear a mask.
In Ohio, 97,471 people have been sickened with coronavirus since the state recorded its first case March 9, 2020.
Current trends indicate the state will cross the 100,000 mark this weekend.