In a pandemic, delivering the bread of life
EDMOND, Okla. — I use the last bit of energy…
A member of the Edmond Church of Christ in Oklahoma has tested positive for COVID-19, just days after he was at a funeral with numerous other members.
The member, who has not been identified, attended a memorial service on March 14, just one day before the Centers for Disease Control recommended that groups of 50 or more cancel all events for the next eight weeks.
The member is in intensive care at an Oklahoma City hospital.
Randy Roper, preaching minister for the 1,250 member church, said church leaders are doing their best to be transparent while not inducing any additional anxiety on members.
“Just because you go to church with him doesn’t mean you were exposed,” Roper told The Christian Chronicle.
The man’s wife is quarantined at their home. The man has made improvements in the last 24 hours but remains in ICU.
“We’re thankful he’s showing some improvement, it seems,” Roper said.
The congregation’s elders sent an email to members this afternoon notifying them of the positive test.
“Thank you for your understanding and support during these unique and uncertain times,” the elders said. “God remains in control. Rather than panic, please choose to pray, and find ways to serve and encourage others.”
Roper said the local health department is investigating this case to figure out when the patient would have been contagious. If there are additional measures for church members to take, those will be communicated directly to them.
In the email, the elders said the last service the member attended was an early-bird Wednesday night Bible study on March 11, but that he was also at a funeral held at the church building a few days later, on a Saturday.
Across the nation, churches are reporting members are hospitalized or in quarantine following exposure.
As the Chronicle reported over the weekend, the University Church of Christ in Murray, Ky., is urging 150 people who showed up for its March 15 worship to self-quarantine after an attendee tested positive for COVID-19.
In Lubbock, Texas, at the Sunset Church of Christ, a student who is part of the Adventures in Missions program tested positive last week. Church leaders encouraged members who were at events hosted the weekend before to monitor themselves for symptoms. They also noted that staff and students were put on quarantine, in response.
In Tennessee, a member of the Skyline Church of Christ in Jackson has also been in intensive care.
Todd Lewis, an educator in the area, is said to be improving but was hospitalized late last week after fluid built up in his lungs.
The Jackson Sun quoted Eric Petty, the lead minister at Skyline:
“He’s not out of the woods and definitely needs more prayers, but he is doing better as his fever is gone and the fluid is better,” Petty said. “I know he and Brittany are two people who are strong in their faith, very involved here and at the school in Henderson.
There are reports of many others being monitored, quarantined and tested. This is a developing story that we are monitoring closely. Check back for updates.
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