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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

At Least 68 Coronavirus Infections, 2 Deaths Linked To Events At Charlotte Church


Updated 5:15 p.m.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases linked to events at a Charlotte church earlier this month is now up to at least 68.

In an updated press release sent Wednesday evening, Mecklenburg County says 68 people connected with convocation events held at the United House of Prayer For All People Oct. 4-11 have tested positive for the coronavirus.

There have been at least four hospitalizations and two deaths among those confirmed cases.

Included among those cases is a cluster of six at Madison Saints Paradise South Independent Living, where one of the deaths occurred.

Public health officials have attempted to contact 94 close contacts reported by confirmed cases, and have notified health departments in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, New Jersey and New York to monitor potential cases.

Earlier, Mecklenburg County Deputy Health Director Raynard Washington told county commissioners Tuesday night that the county is urging anyone who attended events at the United House of Prayer for All People on Beatties Ford Road Oct. 4-11 to get tested.

“It’s really important," Washington said. "Those 50 cases alone have upwards of 75 close contacts who may have been potentially exposed who are now being contacted for quarantine. And five of the 50 cases actually are residents of a congregate-living center. It’s an independent living center for seniors."

Washington said he advised the church not to hold any gatherings for 14 days, and said the church has not been interested in hosting a testing site. He added the health department is considering setting up a testing site not far from the church.

“At this point I have requested that the church follow our guidance and I’m hopeful that they will certainly follow that guidance.," he said. "It is well-informed guidance given what we know about how the virus has spread among their constituents of the church. So I think, certainly I’m hopeful, they will comply and if they don’t comply and we feel like more risk is associated with it we will certainly continue to have conversations with them and consider all options available."

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Marshall came to WFAE after graduating from Appalachian State University, where he worked at the campus radio station and earned a degree in communication. Outside of radio, he loves listening to music and going to see bands - preferably in small, dingy clubs.