A North Carolina church's Christmas caroling event has been identified as a super spreader event with 75 individuals testing positive for COVID-19 just days after attending the holiday event. That number could increase in the coming days.
On Thursday, Dec. 17, the health department released a statement about the Dec. 5 church service. While the statement did confirm 75 individuals linked to the service had tested positive, it still remains unclear whether or not they all attended the service or were exposed to someone else who did.
"To date, the Health Department has identified 75 individuals who have tested positive as a result of the event," the statement reads. "The Health Department is working to identify any additional close contacts of these individuals."
The COVID announcement was also added to the church's Facebook page. The publication reports that the alarming post quickly caught the attention of social media users as others began announcing cancellations of other events in the area.
Weekend Worship // December 6th, 2020www.youtube.com
With a small-town population of only 14,000, the latest super spreader event has alarmed local officials. The public health department also expressed concern about other events that have potentially contributed to increases in cases in the area as they warned against holiday gatherings.
"Henderson County continues to see an increase in COVID-19 cases generated from social gatherings such as parties, family, and neighborhood get-togethers," the statement added. "To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 at private social gatherings the Health Department urges residents to avoid large get-togethers and to continue practice of the 3Ws: Wear a face covering, Wait six feet apart and Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer."
As of Friday, Dec. 18, the United States has reported more than 17.6 million coronavirus cases. The COVID-related death toll has now surpassed 300,000.