Illustration for article titled 2 Churches in Texas and Georgia Reopened. Now They’re Closed as Leaders and Churchgoers Test Positive for COVID-19
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Georgia and Texas—arguably two of the most racist states in the history of America—have done a soft reopening and are now watching as the coronavirus numbers keep going up like a club on a Tuesday.

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Two churches in those states that also recently reopened were forced to shut back up after churchgoers and “religious leaders tested positive for the virus.”

From the Hill:

A representative for the Catoosa Baptist Tabernacle in Ringgold, Ga., told The Christian Post in a statement on Monday that the church decided earlier this month to no longer offer “in-person worship services for the foreseeable future” after confirming some of its families were “dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 virus.”

The church said it had initially resumed in-person services weeks back as Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp began to ease coronavirus restrictions on nonessential businesses in April. At the time, the church said it had also made sure to adhere to social distancing guidelines advised to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

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What’s more concerning is that it appears the Georgia church followed social distancing guidelines and the virus still spread.

“Seating was marked to only permit sitting within the six-foot guidelines, all doors were open to allow access without the touching of doors, and attendees were asked to enter in a social distancing manner and were dismissed in a formal manner as well to ensure that the social distancing measures were adhered by all,” the church told the outlet.

However, the Georgia church said that the doors are now closed “until further notice in an effort of extreme caution for the safety and well-being of our families.”

A few days later, ABC News reported that the Houston-based Holy Ghost Parish was forced to shut down services after several members of the church contracted COVID-19 and one church leader died.

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“The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston said the church, which had also reportedly begun hosting mass at the start of May as some coronavirus restrictions on certain businesses in Texas had begun to ease, decided to reclose last week after the death of Father Donnell Kirchner, 79,” the Hill reports.

While Kirchner’s cause of death is currently unknown, the archdiocese told ABC News that the priest had been diagnosed with pneumonia and was “sent home [from the hospital] with medication.”

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After Kirchner’s death, five members of the archdiocese who shared a residence with Kirchner “sought medical advice, and all were tested for the coronavirus.”

“Although the parish had followed cleaning, sanitation and social distancing guidelines prescribed by State health officials since reopening on May 2nd, they determined at that time it was best to close the Church immediately to public Masses until the results of their tests were known,” the archdiocese said, the Hill reports.

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“This past weekend, five of the seven members of the Redemptorists religious community learned that they had tested positive for COVID-19, including two priests who had been active in celebrating public Masses at Holy Ghost since May 2,” the religious organization added. “As a result of these findings, all Masses at Holy Ghost Church remain canceled until further notice.”

The archdiocese, which serves some 1 million Catholics across 10 counties in Texas, is urging those members who attended “in-person masses at the Holy Ghost Church since it reopened earlier this month to seek testing,” the Hill notes.

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“While the Redemptorists currently residing at Holy Ghost are asymptomatic, they, and the other members of the community, are in quarantine in the residence isolated from the others,” the group added.

Now, what’s with all that talk about reopening parts of the country, Republicans?

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

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