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As churches reopen, experts describe one common activity as 'dangerous'

Churches are now working to figure out how they can open safely. But for some, that also means making significant changes for now.

ATLANTA — As churches navigate how to re-open safely, some health officials are advising they hold off on certain activities and traditions.

It's been months since many places of worship have gathered in person. But, as they start to do so, health experts warn congregations to hold back the singing for now.

Immunologist and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Professor Dr. Erin Bromage wrote about this in a now-viral blog.

He said an infected person can release virus particles by just talking. And when that person sings or yells, those infected respiratory droplets can increase greatly.

Emory University Epidemiologist Dr. Carlos del Rio said studies have backed this belief.

“I think chorus is a dangerous activity. I think we've shown in several studies in churches and other settings, that choruses are a place where a lot of transmission can occur,” he said. “Because, if someone is infected, the way you sing, etc., transmission is very rapid. And quick so certain activities, I would say, are no-noes.”

Months ago, at the church at Liberty Square in Cartersville, several members of the choir got the coronavirus.

The church announced they'll have their first in-person service on June 7 while following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state guidelines. Those guidelines include no campus group or classroom gatherings. Choir rehearsals fall under that.

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