Faith

N.C. Officials Step in After COVID-19 Church Outbreak

123RF

North Carolina officials ordered the temporary shutdown of a worship center after a COVID-19 church outbreak blamed for three deaths and more than 100 infections.

Health officials in North Carolina made the decision just ahead of a weeklong revival they feared would cause an even larger COVID-19 church outbreak.

Mecklenburg County’s health director told The Charlotte Observer she ordered buildings closed after confirming 121 COVID-19 cases. She reported at least three confirmed deaths. A fourth death remained under investigation.

County leaders said it was the largest outbreak stemming from an event since the pandemic began. 

The pandemic forced difficult decisions for churches nationwide. Most seem to listen to guidance from state and local authorities and the CDC. Churches had to ban in-person worship or at least singing inside churches. Singing has been viewed as a potential way to spread the virus.

But some churches across the country defiantly continued with in-person services. Some churches took the position that to do otherwise was to allow some kind of “attack” on their faith. One churchgoer said she wasn’t concerned about COVID-19 because she’s “covered in His blood.” I suppose people like that will live forever, since, apparently, being “covered in His blood” means she’ll never have any disease.

No, sorry. It doesn’t work that way.

I do believe most people know that.

Unfortunately, some churches have allowed ego to overtake common sense.

The church and Christianity are not under attack here. The virus does not care which form of faith you practice. It doesn’t care where you worship.

What scares me is how many churches still, at this late date, don’t seem to see the danger.

I wonder what it will actually take before they begin taking COVID-19 more seriously. And I don’t know that we actually want to see the answer to that question unfold.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.