Large church event sparks pandemic safety concerns

GRANGER, Ind.--- A worship service at Granger Community church is raising questions about church safety online. Indiana's "Back on Track" plan currently allows churches to meet in person but encourages distancing and mask wearing.

A post on Facebook called into question the worship service on Thursday night.

"I am disappointed to see Granger Community and Gospel City, two of the largest churches in St. Joseph County, hosting large, in-person, gatherings," said the post.

ABC57 reached out to church leaders who weren't available for interviews but did direct us to their COVID protocols on their website.

St. Joseph County health officials are worried distancing and mask wearing may not be enough in an enclosed space. 

"Singing is associated with the increased generation of droplets," said St. Joseph County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Mark Fox. "Even our normal six feet of distance as a mitigation strategy may not be enough when worship is going on."

Dr. Fox encourages churches to increase access points to prevent congregating at entrance and exit points. 

He also says churches need to be prepared to act quickly if someone falls ill during a service.

"You want to put a higher quality mask on anyone who became sick, coughing or fever or anything like that, while then reducing the risk of transmission to others attending the event," said Dr. Fox. 

Attendees are encourage to mask up and avoid physical contact with others to avoid spreading the virus. 

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