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Berea church suspends in-person services after COVID-19 outbreak

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Posted at 11:34 PM, Aug 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 23:36:02-04

BEREA, Ky. (LEX 18) — A church in Berea will be "closed until further notice" for in-person services, following reports of numerous cases of coronavirus within the congregation.

Mark Sarver, the senior pastor at Church on the Rock, confirmed he and his wife are among more than a dozen people connected to the church to have tested positive for the virus.

Sarver told LEX 18 news that he received a phone call from the Madison County Health Department last week notifying him of an outbreak in the congregation. He could not recall the exact number of cases, but he estimated it to be at least twenty.

The church hosted a revival meeting for its own congregation--as well as other churches' congregations--the week of July 27. Sarver estimated there might have been about 200 people in attendance.

When asked if he believes the coronavirus outbreak is connected to the revival, Sarver declined to speculate.

Sarver said he and other church leaders have taken steps to adhere to CDC guidelines, including the practice of physical distancing and wearing masks. He did mention, though, that some people who attended the revival did not wear masks.

The pastor said he and his wife are experiencing mild symptoms and are halfway through their quarantine. He said is not aware of any severe cases in connection to the outbreak.