Research: Racial Minorities Were More Likely to Contract COVID-19 at Churches

Researchers at Standford University used cell phone data in the top ten metro areas in the United States to explore mobility and transmission rates of COVID-19 between March and April of 2020. Churches were among the top locations for transmission of COVID-19, due in part to the high number of persons in these spaces and also the length of time commonly spent in the buildings.Further, those that lived in lower-income and majority non-white neighborhoods experienced higher rates of virus transmission, in larger part due to the more limited capacity for residents to practice social distancing (with more density and also less persons who have jobs that allow them to work-from-home, for instance). Consequently, although many Black and Hispanic churches were very cautious about reopening, those congregations that did meet in person carried a substantial risk of virus transmission because many of their members were highly mobile and visiting denser spaces than those churches in white, more privileged, and less urban areas.

Resource Details

  • Attribution: Stanford University
  • Theme/Topic: Equity
  • Resource Type: Survey Reports
  • Date: 11/24/2020