HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. — Governor Andy Beshear called out a church in Hopkins County after learning that a church held a revival earlier this month despite the order of no group gatherings.
The unidentified Dawson Springs church welcomed a Texas preacher to the revival, held on March 15 and 16. Days after the event the preacher told followers on social media that he and his family were experiencing flu-like symptoms.
Beshear announced at his Wednesday briefing that as a result of the revival, there are 24 cases and 2 deaths with a link to the religious revival. Beshear continued by saying, "This is what 1 meeting can do."
The populated event resulted in positive cases in other counties including Warren, Clark, and Muhlenburg County.
Judge-Executive, Jack Whitfield Jr., said, “They’ve [Healthcare officials] spent countless hours since this first arose in the community. I've called and texted with our Health Department director and 8, 9, 10 p.m. still following up on those contacts,” says Whitfield.
All churches in the county have officially closed their doors with religious leaders now looking to find new ways to host sermons online.
Whitfield and other county officials hosted a series of meetings addressing public concerns and questions. The main concern religious leaders have is being able to reach church members 60 and older as they are considered a “hard to reach population” when it comes to technology. Whitfield suggested church leaders reach out by giving them a phone call and providing fellowship on an individual basis.
Hopkins County has 33 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 3 reported deaths. While the health department is trying to reach everyone who had been in contact with a person who has tested positive for the virus, Whitfield reiterated the words of Governor Beshear to “stay at home” but if you have symptoms, don't rush in for testing.
“You can contact your primary care physician and you can do that through video or by phone instead of going to the hospital. We really can’t afford at this time to get our medical staff infected with this,” says Whitfield.