Five choir and orchestra members at a Dallas megachurch where Vice President Mike Pence visited this weekend tested positive for the coronavirus before the vice president’s visit.
According to Buzzfeed, another member of First Baptist’s Church in Dallas’ orchestra also showed symptoms and was waiting on test results.
None of those church members were at First Baptist Church in Dallas when Pence visited Sunday. Buzzfeed reported it was unclear how many of the musicians who were present for Pence’s visit also may have been exposed to the six others during other practices and performances.
During Pence’s visit, called Freedom Sunday, the choir and orchestra performed for Pence without masks.
The music director of the church did not attend Freedom Sunday after he tested positive for the virus and quarantined.
“Some of you may know but I’ve been in quarantine since June 14 after several exposures,” said Jarrod Blackstock, music director and associate minister of worship. “I was tested and it came back positive for the virus.
“I thought Freedom Sunday was a great day. Everyone who participated did an excellent job! I’m sorry that I wasn’t there and hated to miss it,” he added.
Abigail Miller, the director of communications for First Baptist Dallas, said the church is being “strategic and prudent” with church activities.
“We have taken steps to ensure that no one who has been knowingly exposed to anyone with COVID-19, demonstrated any symptoms, or tested positive has participated in our choir or orchestra until medically cleared to do so,” she said.
The vice president’s visit to Dallas came as the city reported a record-high day for cases and the Texas Department of State Health Services reported some 5,900 COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has since rolled back his plan to reopen the state. Abbott also attended Freedom Sunday.
“With this governor and this president, we’ll bring Texas and America back bigger and better than ever before,” said Pence in his remarks. “Working with your governor, we will put the health of the people of the Lone Star State first,” Pence said.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Pool
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.