Outbreak declared at church in Chatham-Kent after 31 cases reported: health officials

church

Public health officials say 31 cases of COVID-19 have been linked to a church in Chatham-Kent, Ont.

Chatham-Kent Public Health says it was able to trace 19 cases directly to the Blenheim Word of Life Church and 12 more secondary infections to close contacts.

It says an initial investigation shows the church was following public health guidelines.

The department says it will be looking into whether there was adequate ventilation in the church, which it describes as a smaller venue in a strip mall.

It also says it will investigate the role singing at the church might have played in the outbreak.

The department says one church attendee went to a blood services clinic and is believed to have infected a worker there.

Public health officials say they have isolated and traced all contacts from the church, including close contacts of attendees and blood donors from the blood services clinic.

The health department says the church announced last week that it will temporarily close for at least two weeks.