Churchgoer Exposes 180 People to COVID-19 During Mother’s Day Service


On Mother’s Day, a person who later learned they were coronavirus-positive attended a religious service in California. According to local health officials, this exposed 180 other people to the virus.

The individual learned about his diagnosis one day after the service and is currently in isolation at home, said Butte County Public Health in a statement.

people attend church while wearing face masks

Churchgoers Told to Self-Quarantine

People who attended church alongside the individual have been notified. They received instructions from health officials and were told to self-quarantine. Officials are working to ensure that everyone who attended will be given a coronavirus test.

California has more than 80,265 cases of coronavirus as of Monday morning. 3,289 people have died from the virus.

This incident, among others, portrays the tug-of-war that is going on between public officials and religious organizations. Despite stay-at-home orders, many congregations around the country have continued to meet.

However, some states have exempted religious gatherings.

Related: Mother’s Day Draws Large Crowds Despite State Orders

“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,” said Danette York, the Butte County Public Health Director.

The stay-at-home order put in place by Gov. Gavin Newsom prohibited gatherings of any size when it first went into effect in March. When the state recently started to lift some restrictions in a phased reopening, they prohibited religious gatherings until a later stage.

Butte County Public Health released a statement urging people to follow State orders.

“Moving too quickly through the reopening process can cause a major setback and could require us to revert back to more restrictive measures,” warned the statement. “We implore everyone to follow the State order and our reopening plan to help combat the potential spread of Covid-19.”

Related: Pastor Dies From COVID-19 After Defiantly Holding Services

Judge Blocks NC Governor’s Order That Limited Indoor Church Services

On Saturday, a judge in North Carolina ruled to temporarily allow indoor worship services after a lawsuit argued that an order from Gov. Roy Cooper violated constitutional rights.

North Carolina has been working to ease restrictions under a three-phase reopening plan that started on May 8. The first phase limits gatherings to 10 people, which includes indoor services. Cooper’s office said that there was no limit on outdoor worship services, but encouraged attendees to follow proper social-distancing.

Ford Porter, a spokesman for Cooper, issued a statement about the ruling:

“We don’t want indoor meetings to become hotspots for the virus and our health experts continue to warn that large groups sitting together for long periods of time are much more likely to cause the spread of Covid-19.

“While our office disagrees with the decision, we will not appeal, but instead urge houses of worship and their leaders to voluntarily follow public health guidance to keep their members safe,” he said.

Even the best wrinkle filler for face lines won’t help Cooper nor others after this pandemic. The worry is too much.

Related: Pastor Asks for Stimulus Check Tithes After Defying State Coronavirus Orders