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

COVID-19 Cases Connected To Charlotte Church Surpasses 100, Includes 3 Deaths

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Mecklenburg County has identified more COVID-19 cases linked to convocation events at the United House of Prayer for All People in Charlotte earlier this month. On Friday, the county said there were at least 101 cases, two of those cases are in Iredell County. There have also been three deaths linked to the event.

The events were held both indoors and outside the church between Oct. 4-11.

Additionally, there’s a cluster of at least 12 residents at the Madison Saints Paradise South senior living community connected to the church events who have tested positive for the coronavirus. Mecklenburg County Deputy Health Director Raynard Washington said all residents of the facility have been tested for COVID-19. On Thursday, health officials said on there were at least five hospitalizations.

Public health officials are contacting 137 people who are close contacts of those diagnosed with COVID-19. They have also notified local health departments across North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, New Jersey and New York to monitor possible connected cases.

Washington said in a released statement that the church made plans for mask wearing and social distancing, but there was little enforcement and compliance.

It’s the largest cluster of cases reported by Mecklenburg County to date. Washington said Wednesday the church has been asked not to hold any events for the next two weeks.

“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,” Washington said.

Washington said the church has refused to host testing. The county health department recommends anyone who attended the events to get tested. It is also offering free drive-thru testing at 2845 Beatties Ford Road from 9 – 5 p.m.

Data out of North Carolina’s health department published Wednesday show there have been at least 1,040 COVID-19 cases and 13 COVID-19 related deaths linked to religious gatherings in the state.

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