The megachurch led by John MacArthur that has been defying L.A County public health orders for months and insisting on having full-capacity indoor services has had several confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.
According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, there have been three confirmed cases that have emerged out of Grace Community Church (GCC), with more cases said to be on the way. Officials will work with the church to try to determine the pathway it took to spread and engage in some good old fashioned contact tracing. There is no word on whether those infected were congregation or staff members, or even the extent that that church service had anything to do with it.
The Sun Valley church has been battling with Public health officials for months over the serious risk that coronavirus is said to pose, costing the church hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. MacArthur declared that his church doesn’t believe the narrative and that they don’t know anyone who has it, saying:
In California as of now, you have a 1 in 100th of 1%. That’s the number of people who have COVID. 100th of 1%. Out of 40 million. That’s not a death certificate that’s a COVID statistic. By no definition does that fit a pandemic by their own data. Something else is going on and I think we all pretty much all know that. It’s wonderful to realize that God is in charge, and everything is on schedule perfectly as far as he is concerned.
According to the LA Times:
Under the county health officer’s order, places of worship must report to the county Public Health Department when at least three coronavirus cases are identified among staff or worshipers within a span of 14 days so the agency can determine whether there is an outbreak.
After several months of protracted legal wrangling in early fall, Grace Community Church won the right to stay open and have their services indoors at maximum capacity until 2021, pending further litigation. Unlike many other churches, pre-registration before attending the church is not required, there are no temperature checks at the doors, and masks are not mandatory but only worn as a matter of conscience, a practice the vast majority of congregants eschew.
Update #1. We’ve reached out to sources at Grace Church for more information and they told us that there have been no hospitalizations as far as they know, and they don’t believe it is members of the church staff.
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