40 people infected with COVID-19 after Alabama church event
Warrior Creek Missionary Baptist Church in northern Alabama had a spike in COVID-19 cases among members following a revival
After holding a week-long revival, more than 40 members of a northern-Alabama church are infected with COVID-19.
Alabama reports that Warrior Creek Missionary Baptist Church in Cullman County had a majority of its congregation contract the coronavirus. Pastor Daryl Ross says he along with other members have tested positive for COVID-19.
“We had church Wednesday night. We were in revival, morning and night services,” Ross says to Alabama. “On the way back over Thursday is when we found out. I got a call that one of our guys in the church has tested positive. So, we shut down revival and, by Friday night, I’ve got church members sick everywhere.”
According to the report, the Warrior Creek Missionary Baptist Church has existed in the small Cullman County community named Strawberry since the 1860s. Typically the church has 80 to 100 members attending Sunday service.
The revival usually lasts an entire week. A guest visits the congregation and partakes in ministry and fellowship, allowing the church members to grow together in faith and community and encouraging baptism for people who have not partaken in the Christian ritual.
Ross tells Alabama he believes the outbreak is the result of one member who tested positive, although the man showed no symptoms.
“He had three guys at work that came down positive…From work, they made him test, and he came back positive. No symptoms.”
Many of the church goers have mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19.
“I can’t smell or taste, a little sinus, that’s all I’ve had. The whole church has been running fever and headaches and terrible respiratory (issues), and I’ve been building fences and bush-hogging,” Ross told Alabama.
He also notes that two members had more serious cases and are recovering.
“One respiratory, he almost got put in the hospital, but he’s OK,” Ross said. “The other one fought it off with two days in bed.”
Masks were not a requirement at the revival and some church members decided to stay home. For those who did attend, social distancing policies were encouraged, with many sitting with family only.
“We social distanced. Most of them sat with their own family. If you were comfortable shaking hands, you shook hands. If you didn’t, you didn’t,” explains Ross.
The pastor also insists that although the revival resulted in a COVID-19 outbreak, it was beneficial and he does not regret the event.
“We knew what we were getting into,” Ross says to Alabama. “We knew the possibilities. But, my goodness, man, for three days we had one of the old-time revivals. It was unbelievable. And everybody you ask, if you talk to our church members right now, they’d tell you we’d do it again. It was that good.”
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