Almost 40 places of worship and religious events have been linked to more than 650 U.S. cases of the coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to tracking by the New York Times. Along with the nationwide surge in infections that has followed the loosening of restrictions aimed at combating the virus, outbreaks connected to churches have sprouted at several spots…
A USA TODAY analysis of anonymized cellphone data from 16 million devices shows church attendance dropped 52% in the second week of March, when President Donald Trump declared a national emergency, compared to an average week in February.
Church visits haven’t come close to returning to the norm, lingering at around minus 40%. Activities such as visiting restaurants and clothing and shoe stores have bounced back stronger, both at minus 23%.
“The vast majority of people in our congregation are still not comfortable coming to a worship service, even though we have a very clean setup,’’ said Thomas McKenzie, pastor of the Church of the Redeemer in Nashville.