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Business Insider report calls church services 'super-spreader events' that should be avoided for years

Church services are 'dangerous'

Photo by Megan Jelinger/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Image

A Business Insider report Thursday suggested that people should avoid church services for years in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

The report set out to examine so-called "super-spreader events," or events in which one person allegedly "infects an atypically large number of people," and found that such events all have similar qualities.

"Most super-spreader events are similar," the article noted. "The infected person attends an indoor gathering with lots of people, like a religious service, choir practice, or birthday party."

"The general principle should be: Outside is better than inside; open is better than closed; fewer is better than more people; and stay away from sick people," neurosurgeon Dr. Erich Anderer suggested, according to the report.

To prove the point, several different examples were studied, one of which was a church service in South Korea where a 61-year-old woman, dubbed "Patient 31," attended and later tested positive for COVID-19. Soon after, so did dozens of others.

Another example listed in the article was an alleged spike in cases in New York in February stemming from a 50-year-old attorney who participated in a bat mitzvah and synagogue worship just before his diagnosis.

It should be noted that "super-spreading" is not a technical term used by experts, though it is commonly accepted that irregularly high transmission can occur in indoor areas where social distancing is not being practiced.

On this point, the Insider article really drove home its conclusion.

"That's what makes religious services dangerous," the report noted, suggesting in its headline that church services are "the types of gatherings we should avoid for years."

The news will likely not be received well by many church-going Americans who have been prevented from gathering amid the pandemic, sometimes by extreme measures.

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