GODDARD: “Only 2.4% of cases reported since July 1st” linked back to churches

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Pastor Denny Pagel prays during a service at Grace Bible Church on Sunday, May 24, 2020, in Tempe, Ariz. Parishioners practiced social distancing as the church held its first in-person service since March. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director Clay Goddard took to Twitter Thursday to reveal a statistic many in the Ozarks were waiting to hear.

“2.4% of cases reported since July 1st are linked back to exposure at church,” Goddard tweeted.

“Our faith leaders have done incredible work bringing their congregations back in a safe manner,” the Health Director continued.

The public’s interest in whether churches should be exempt from certain public health guidelines has only grown since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. With some churches choosing to open and others remaining closed or altering services, many were eager or anxious to see how reopening places of worship would impact community spread.

“Thank you for your incredible work,” Goddard told area faith leaders, who he says have so far brought back congregations, “in a safe manner.”

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