A Jefferson City church is adjusting its service schedule after a member tested positive for COVID-19.
First Assembly of God, located on Route C, announced Wednesday that "a longtime member who has been in church services over these last few weeks" had tested positive for COVID-19.
This has led the church to make several changes, including having three Sunday morning services to help with social distancing requirements and having no Sunday school, nursery or additional activities throughout July, according to a post on the church's website. The church will continue to stream services so people can watch from home.
Chezney Schulte, Cole County communicable disease coordinator, said the county Health Department investigates every positive COVID-19 case involving a county resident, but she could not say if the church member was a county resident.
"Several of the pastors and churches have reached out to us at the county Health Department about recommendations for services," Schulte said. "Some are still not doing in-person services, and some have gone back to near-normal. It's different across the board."
Based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Service, the county Health Department provided recommendations to businesses and other organizations about how to conduct activities after earlier COVID-19 rules were loosened. For faith-based organizations, those recommendations include cleaning frequently touched surfaces, making sure hand-sanitizing products are readily available, and implementing social-distancing measures that include reduced activities and canceling large gatherings.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Cole County reported 14 active COVID-19 cases, with 62 patients who had recovered and two who died. There have been 7,184 negative COVID-19 tests reported in the county.
"When we get a positive case, we do try to connect the dots of who the infected person may have been in close contact with," Schulte said. "In contact tracing, if we found that a person was in close contact with a positive case, we tell them they should self-quarantine for 14 days after the date of their last exposure to the infected person."
No First Assembly of God church officials were available for comment Wednesday afternoon.