Bethel Church-affiliated Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, located in the small California county of Shasta, reportedly has 123 positive cases of coronavirus among its students and faculty.
The county has received a grand total of 1,158 cases since March. The latest spike hit 500 confirmed cases, of which the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry has 123. The school has advised all faculty and staff who may have come into contact with the students with confirmed cases to quarantine at home to help mitigate the spread to others.
According to the Associated Press, the county is facing "a new level of regulations on restaurants, bars, theaters and businesses” as a response to the case spikes. The school has also begun to shift to online teaching and has cancelled its in-person church services for October 4th and 11th, which would have been held outside.
According to statements given to the Redding Record Searchlight, "Bethel has said its School of Supernatural Ministry accepted fewer students for its 2020-2021 academic school year and will be operating at 70 percent capacity due to the coronavirus pandemic — from 2,300 students last year to 1,600 this year.”
While some have predicted that the lockdowns and restrictions have been lifesaving, others have determined that the restrictions have cause the pandemic to last longer than it would have if states had stayed open.
In a declaration signed by over 17,000 medical doctors, epidemiologists and medical researchers, the signers call for an end to lockdowns and instead suggest the policy be replaced with what they call "focused protection" to obtain herd immunity. "The results [of lockdowns] (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice," the declaration reads.
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John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.