A person who tested positive for COVID-19 exposed 180 people in a church service.
A person who later learned they were positive for Covid-19 attended a California religious service on Mother’s Day, exposing 180 other people to the novel coronavirus, according to local health officials.
The individual got a positive diagnosis for Covid-19 the day after the service and is now in isolation at home, Butte County Public Health said in a statement Friday.
People who attended the service have been notified about their exposure and received instructions from health officials to self-quarantine, the statement said. Officials are working to get testing for everyone who was in attendance.
As of Sunday afternoon, California had more than 78,800 cases of coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 3,200 people in the state have died.
Some religious organizations have ignored the stay-at-home policies.
The incident highlights the ongoing tug-of-war between some religious organizations and public officials as they work to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Some congregations around the country have continued to meet, despite stay-at-home orders — though some states had exempted religious gatherings.
The county public health officer said:
At this time, organizations that hold in-person services or gatherings are putting the health and safety of their congregations, the general public and our local ability to open up at great risk.
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order prohibited gatherings of any size when it went into effect in March.
While the state has started to lift some restrictions in a phased reopening, in-person religious gatherings remain prohibited until a later stage.
Butte County Public Health condemned the religious organization, which it did not name, saying its decision to open doors despite the governor’s order would cost health officials many hours and present a “financial burden” during the Covid-19 response.
(H/T Citizen )