A recent church revival in the north-central town of Macon has resulted in 21 confirmed cases of coronavirus.
“There was a revival over about four days, probably involved around 100 people or 150, who came in from different counties,” said Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS).
Eighteen of the 21 cases involve Macon County residents, while three are from nearby Adair County. DHSS is sending staff from Jefferson City to Macon to assist health officials there with COVID-19 testing. Williams said Macon County needs help with testing.
The situation in Macon is, according to health officials, directly attributable to the actual spread of the virus as opposed to the general rise in the U.S. which is a result of increased testing.
“I think the way we’re probably leaning on that is with our Abbott machines that we have, we can go up there and do point-of-care testing immediately, and I think that’s the way our staff was going,” he said.
KWIX radio reported that the revival was held from June 28 through July 1 at Macon’s Open Arms Baptist Church. The revival involved churches from both inside and outside Macon County. Local health officials are urging anyone who attended the revival to self-quarantine until July 15.
“The cases stemming from the church revival in Macon illustrate the need for people to maintain social distance and wear masks if they attend group events,” said Jim LeBaron, administrator of the Adair County Health Department. “Taking these precautions should reduce the spread of the virus among people who have gathered for any type of occasion.”
Meanwhile, health officials in Southwest Missouri have advised an Aurora church not to hold any services or other events after a person exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms attended a revival earlier this week. However, according to the church’s social media, they will not be canceling services.
“The reality is that this virus is everywhere and is part of our new normal,” Freedom Christian Ministries said in a post “Please be responsible as to not attend if you have any symptoms or may be susceptible to sickness due to a low immune system.”
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice