Massachusetts epidemiologists working with COVID-19 Contact Tracing Collaborative have identified 36 clusters tied to places of worship, Governor Charlie Baker said Tuesday.
These clusters led to 316 confirmed cases and 150 close links, the Republican governor said. He drew attention to the role religion plays in people’s lives when faced with epidemic challenges, and encouraged people to take advantage of remote religious services or, if they attend meetings in person, wear a mask and at least 6 feet be spaced apart.
“As with every gathering, protocols have been established to ensure that services and other functions at places of worship take place as safely as possible,” Baker said Tuesday.
Six clusters have been tied to places of worship in the past month, Baker said. One of these clusters led to 200 positive cases.
“It’s obviously a big number, but what’s even more worrying is that these 200 people have entered their own daily routine,” Baker said.
The governor noted that in most cases, the spread of households, including informal gatherings at home, occurs. Some cases are listed as “different” or not related to a specific location.
The State Department of Public Health on Monday reported a further 1,166 cases of coronavirus and 25 deaths. The state now has 43,856 active cases.