“The whole church has got it, just about,” pastor Daryl Ross of Warrior Creek Missionary Baptist Church told AL.com. He and multiple churchgoers have been infected with the virus after the congregation held the multi-day event with a guest pastor last week.
Ross discontinued the religious services on Friday, after finding out that a member had tested positive for coronavirus. While the churchgoer was asymptomatic, he was tested because several of his coworkers had received positive test results.
More became ill over the weekend. Ross said, “I've got church members sick everywhere.” He added, “We knew what we were getting into," and "we knew the possibilities.” He revealed that as of Sunday, only two members’ were seriously ill and no one had been hospitalized. Many reportedly have fevers, headaches, and respiratory issues.
Social distancing guidelines were followed during the event, which was held over the course of a few days. Most of the congregation avoided the events because of COVID. Meanwhile the worshippers who came sat with their families and masks were not a requirement.
“We let everybody do what they felt like. ... If you were comfortable shaking hands, you shook hands. If you didn't, you didn't,” the pastor said.
The church is located in Strawberry, Alabama, which is about 60 miles northeast of Birmingham.