Coronavirus: Health officials investigating outbreak at Springfield church

Nearly 20 Clark County residents associated with a Springfield church have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Clark County Combined Health District.

As of Saturday afternoon, 18 Clark County residents associated with the Victory Faith Center in Springfield had tested positive for the coronavirus. Emma Smales, spokesperson for the CCCHD, said the district is continuing to investigate the outbreak, which she said was spread among employees and volunteers at the church.

The district announced they were monitoring the outbreak at Victory Faith on June 8.

The Springfield News-Sun reached out to Victory Faith Center about the outbreak and did not receive a response.

The outbreak is one of six workplace outbreaks of the coronavirus the district is monitoring. Others include the Southbrook Care Center (nine employees, 26 residents, two deaths, 1 contact), Dole Fresh Vegetables (38 employees), the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center (four employees, two contacts, one juvenile), Mercy Health Springfield Regional Medical Center (nine employees) and Navistar’s Springfield plant (five employees).

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The district has had a good response from almost all of the employers they have been working with, CCCHD Commissioner Charles Patterson said in his weekly coronavirus community update on Facebook live Friday afternoon.

“They are trying to make sure their employees are well, making sure employees can if they are feeling ill if they have the symptoms of COVID-19 that they can take the time off that’s necessary,” Patterson said.

Patterson said according to the Ohio Department of Health, Clark County and Springfield are among hot spots for cases of the coronavirus in the Ohio, but the state and the district don’t have enough data to tell them why the county is experiencing an influx in outbreaks.

“What we can tell you is that there are cases, there is a lot of virus out there and people still need to be careful,” Patterson said.

Patterson warned that while businesses are beginning to reopen, it’s important to remember that wearing a mask and continuing to social distance are critical to slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

“When we have been looking at these outbreaks, very few of the people are getting the disease when they are in an environment where they are social distancing and when they are in an environment where both parties are masked,” Patterson said. “So the spread is happening when the masks come off and the social distance goes down.”

Clark County had 425 cases, seven deaths and one probable death of the coronavirus as of Monday afternoon, according to the Ohio Department of Health’s website.

THE LATEST CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS: Cases reach nearly 41,000

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