Local Church Congregation Encouraged to Seek COVID-19 Testing

Veronica Farias
(509) 886-6427
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East Wenatchee, WA – The Chelan-Douglas Health District is asking members of Iglesia Emanuel Bautista of Wenatchee to get tested for COVID-19 after two church members there tested positive.

In addition, anyone who attended services on Nov. 1 is being asked to self-quarantine through Sunday, Nov. 15.

“Because of the size of the church and its congregation, we believe it is necessary for any members who attended service on Nov. 1 to not only seek testing but to self-quarantine as well,” said Cari Hammond, personal health director for CDHD and the incident commander of the health district’s Incident Management Team.

On Sunday, Nov. 8, the CDHD held a drive-thru testing event for congregation members operated by Lifeline Ambulance Inc., who contracts with the health district to provide testing services. Lifeline tested 20 of the potentially 50 members who may have been exposed. Results are not known at this time. Interpreters were also provided by CDHD.

The church is working with CDHD to reach out to its members who have been exposed.

The positive church members, who had contact with the congregation two days prior to the onset of symptoms, attended church services on Nov. 1. Anyone who attended church that day is asked to call Confluence Health or Columbia Valley Community Health, or speak with their private medical provider. Testing facilities are available on the CDHD website.

Chelan and Douglas counties are in Phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start plan. For religious and faith-based organizations, that means churches can hold indoor services at a place of worship with up to 25 percent of room capacity or up to 200 people, whichever is less, as long as six feet of physical distancing can be achieved between households in all directions. Cloth face coverings also are required for all participants, according to the Safe Start plan.

Faith-based organizations are strongly encouraged to keep a log of attendees at each service and to retain that log for at least two weeks. If an outbreak occurs, this information may be critical to help save lives, according to the Safe Start plan.

“With COVID-19 cases on the rise again, the health district views our faith-based organizations’ leaders as essential partners in being the best role models for masking, social distancing and handwashing,” Hammond said.

For more information about COVID-19 in Chelan and Douglas counties, go to the CDHD website.


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