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Majority of Americans say houses of worship should follow social distancing guidelines
Nearly 8-in-10 Americans believe that houses of worship should be required to follow the same social distancing rules as other local organizations or businesses, according to a new poll.
The poll, released Friday by the Pew Research Center, found that 79 percent of U.S. adults said places of worship should be "required to follow the same rules about social distancing and large gatherings" amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, compared to 19 percent who said that they should be allowed "more flexibility."
Seventy-four percent of Christians said that places of worship such as churches, synagogues, mosques and more should be required to follow the same rules for social distancing and large gatherings, and 25 percent disagreed.
Eighty percent of Jewish survey respondents said houses of worship should have to follow the same rules for social distancing and large gatherings, compared to 19 percent who said they should be allowed more flexibility.
That number also split between political parties. Sixty-five percent of GOP respondents said faith institutions should be required to follow the same social distancing rules, and 33 percent of those who identify as Republican disagreed.
Among Democrats, a sweeping 93 percent said that places of worship should be required to follow area rules on social distancing and other large gatherings, while 7 percent disagreed.
Churches and other places of worship have been linked to outbreaks since the beginning of the pandemic earlier this year. This week, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) shared a graphic that showed that 91 people from five counties in the state developed COVID-19 symptoms after a 56-year-old man with coronavirus attended a church service.
"It spread like wildfire," DeWine said at a Tuesday press conference confirming the spread of the virus. "Very, very scary."
The survey polled 10,211 U.S. adults from July 13 to July 19. The margin of sampling error for all of the respondents is 1.5 percentage points.