After restarting its in-person services at the end of April, a church in Georgia is suspending its in-person services again after several families contracted COVID-19.
According to The Christian Post, Catoosa Baptist Tabernacle in Ringgold, Georgia reopened its doors for in-person services on April 26, just as several other businesses across the state were given permission to “begin basic operations.”
Now, just a few weeks later, Church representative Joan Lewis shared with The Christian Post that the church would again be suspending its in-person worship services and this time, “for the foreseeable future.”
According to a statement from the church, on May 11, church leaders were informed that some family members in the congregation were diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.
“Our hearts are heavy as some of our families are dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 virus, and we ask for your prayers for each of them as they follow the prescribed protocol and recuperate at home,” the church shared in a formal statement.
“Though we feel very confident of the safe environment we are able to offer in our facilities, the decision was made … that we would discontinue all in-person services again until further notice in an effort of extreme caution for the safety and well-being of our families,” the statement added.
While the number of families affected by the virus was unspecified, the church pointed out that only about 25 percent of church members attended in-person services since its reopening.
“Based on the current data that was shared and the low volume of cases in our area at the time, and in an effort to offer our families both options of either attending in-person services or streaming online, we resumed services in the Tabernacle a couple of weeks ago,” the church said.
The church assured that social distancing regulations were put in place during the in-person services.
“Seating was marked to only permit sitting within the six-foot guidelines, all doors were open to allow access without the touching of doors, and attendees were asked to enter in a social distancing manner and were dismissed in a formal manner as well to ensure that the social distancing measures were adhered by all,” the church shared.
The condition of infected members is unknown to Christian Headlines and the church has yet to determine a future reopening date.
Photo courtesy: Joseph Pearson/Unsplash
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.