Healthcare

More than 100 COVID-19 cases in Germany traced back to Frankfurt church services

More than 100 people have confirmed coronavirus cases after attending or coming into contact with someone who attended services at a church in Frankfurt, German authorities confirmed on Sunday.

The Wall Street Journal reported that German officials have linked 107 cases of the disease to May 10 gatherings at Evangelical Christian Baptist Congregation in the city, despite church officials insisting that social distancing guidelines were upheld during the service.

News of the spike in cases resulting from the church services first broke late last week, but the number of infected rose dramatically over the weekend with just 40 cases being linked to the church as recently as Saturday.

"This situation shows how important it is-especially during loosening of restrictions, which is now possible again-that we remain vigilant and do not become careless," Kai Klose, a local health official, told the Journal. "The virus is still there and wants to spread."

President Trump broke with some state leaders and demanded action from governors on ending a temporary ban on in-person religious services on Friday during a press conference, despite concerns about the virus spreading at large public gatherings even as some states are struggling to control their rates of new infections.

"The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now, this weekend," Trump said Friday at the White House.

"Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential but have left out churches and other houses of worship. It's not right," the president added.

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