What’s the Problem?
Any religious institution, organization, or business which includes large groups of people has the responsibility to ensure that its membership is not at risk for spreading disease or viruses. Failure of these institutions to provide proper care, safety measures, policies or training may constitute negligence and breach of duty leading to an outbreak of the Coronavirus.
Sacramento Church ID’d as Source of Coronavirus Outbreak
One of the largest outbreaks of COVID-19 in the U.S. has been linked to the Bethany Slavic Missionary Church in Rancho Cordova, California. At least 71 members of the church or people associated with the congregation have tested positive for Coronavirus, including 1 parishioner who died, according to the Sacramento Bee.
The 3,500 member church stopped holding services on March 18, 2020. However, health authorities state that Bethany Slavic members continued to hold bible studies and fellowship meetings in congregants’ homes, in violation of shelter in place orders mandated by California Governor Gavin Newsom. A subsequent contact tracing investigation revealed COVID-19 illnesses associated with gatherings at Bethany Slavic Church.
“while we know that the church as a whole has ceased to meet and the leadership is hosting online services, we have been told by multiple sources that there are groups that continue to meet in homes, despite the public health order to not gather with anyone outside of household members,” said a spokesperson for the Sacramento Department of Health Services. “These gatherings have been directly linked to the cluster of cases in the community.”
The cluster of illnesses at Bethany Slavic Church has accounted for nearly 20% of all Coronavirus cases in Sacramento County, as of mid-April 2020.
Over 70 Cases of Coronavirus Linked to Rancho Cordova Church: ABC 10 Video
COVID-19 Positive Church-Goer Exposes 180 People: Report
A person who tested positive for coronavirus and attended a Mother’s Day religious service in California exposed 180 other people to the virus, according to CNN. The Butte County Public Health said the person received the diagnosis the day after the service and is now in isolation at home. People who attended the service have been notified about their exposure and were given instructions to self-quarantine; health officials are working to get testing for everyone who was in attendance.
Word of Faith Fellowship Member Charged With Break-In at Pastor’s Home
A former member of the controversial Word of Faith Fellowship in Rutherford County, North Carolina, has been arrested and charged with breaking into the home of a church leader while carrying a gun, according to the Charlotte Observer. The arrest follows weeks of escalating tensions over whether the highly secretive church is hiding an outbreak of coronavirus, which critics say threatens the entire county of 67,000 residents. A spokesperson for the Word of Faith told the Observer that at least 3 members who had the coronavirus have died, and that the church does not know how many other members may be infected.
Contact Tracing Latest Attempt to Fight COVID-19
People in close contact with someone who is infected with a virus are at an increased risk of becoming infected themselves, and of infecting others. Closely monitoring these contacts after exposure to an infected person is called contact tracing, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Contact tracing can help the contacts get proper treatment and prevent further transmission of the virus.
The World Health Organization recommends the following 5 tips to prevent the spread of Coronavirus:
1. Stay home as much as you can
2. Keep a safe distance from others
3. Wash your hands often
4. Cover your cough
5. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek immediate medical care
Do I Have a Coronavirus Church Outbreak Lawsuit?
The Workplace and Environmental Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Coronavirus Church Outbreak Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one has been injured, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.