Emily Allen Published

More Than 20 Test Positive For Coronavirus At Charleston Church

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Charleston health officials are still tracking COVID-19 cases linked to the North Charleston Apostolic Church in Charleston, after identifying more than 20 infected worshippers by Wednesday through contact tracing.

So far, the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department said it has identified 19 Kanawha County residents, four Putnam County residents and one Logan County resident through contact tracing.

The church did not respond to requests for comments on Thursday from West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Pastor Anthony Moss told WOWK 13 News on Wednesday the church first learned some members were testing positive on July 9, when he closed in-person service.

Church leaders agreed to pause in-person services for the next three weeks on Wednesday, according to the health department.

Major Gen. James Hoyer of the West Virginia National Guard said Wednesday members had recently sanitized churches in Raleigh and McDowell counties. Local health departments didn’t respond to several requests for additional information. 

As of Thursday, the Guard has helped sanitize 46 essential businesses, including churches where there have been at least one positive case of the coronavirus. That includes the Graystone Baptist Church in Ronceverte, Greenbrier County, where more than 40 members tested positive for the coronavirus in June

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department will continue free drive-thru and walk-up testing on Saturday in Charleston at the More Excellent Way Life Church from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.  The church is located at 504 Virginia Street West.

Emily Allen is a Report for America corps member.