CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With more that 20 active COVID-19 outbreaks in churches across the state, West Virginia health officials are advising against group singing at worship services.
On Monday, Gov. Jim Justice reported 22 outbreaks in churches spread across 16 counties.
Health experts warn that the COVID-19 virus can be spread through tiny airborne droplets that are generated when a person sings.
Moreover, Justice is recommending that elderly persons consider watching church services online to avoid potential exposure.
The death toll from COVID-19 in West Virginia has reached 667.
But the governor said he does not plan to impose shutdown measures to control the spread of the virus.
With Thanksgiving approaching Thursday, health officials are re-emphasizing the need for individuals to follow recommended safety guidelines.
“We do have pretty powerful tools in our tool belt, but these tools don’t work very well unless we use them,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, vice president and executive dean for health sciences at West Virginia University.
Marsh, who serves as West Virginia’s Coronavirus czar, said people need to make smart decisions over Thanksgiving by limiting contact with individuals outside of their households.
He also urged individuals to continue to wear face coverings in public buildings and maintain six feet of social distancing.
There have been 41,114 cumulative cases of COVID-19 in West Virginia.