TBR/Richmond, VA – March 17, 2020 — It was just last week, when Richmond, VA held its citywide Metro Revival Church services at Cedar Street Baptist Church in historic Church Hill. Services were held, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, March 9, 10 and 11 with Dr. Lance D. Watson, senior pastor of St. Paul’s Baptist church, as the guest pastor who preached to a capacity crowd.
Now just one week later, the Chesterfield Health Department has sent out a release stating that someone who attended that Wednesday night service has tested positive for the Covid-19 (Coronavirus). Several of the pastors and ministers in attendance were notified by e-mail which stated in part;
“Hello Pastors and Clergy
I regret to inform you that someone who attended our area wide Metro Revival on Wednesday night March 11th has tested positive for the Covid – 19 (Coronavirus). The Chesterfield Health Department could not tell me who due to privacy laws but everyone who was in close contact with this person and who is considered high risk has been notified.
For the rest of us who were in the building our exposure risk is low, but we need to notify everyone in our congregation who was present. They also need to read the attached sheet from the health department and monitor their symptoms closely should they feel sick.”
However it is also important to note that according to the CDC, infection would have shown up by now, within 3-4 days, which suggests that anyone in that service who may have been infected would already be experiencing symptoms. It was also stressed that the attendance to the service was considered to be low risk, but awareness should be heightened and that direct contacts have already been notified.
Meanwhile…In effort to make sure we all take care of ourselves during these challenging times the Virginia Department of Health offers the following advice to prevent the Spread of COVID-19
This advice is for people who are at a low risk for having been exposed to coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This includes people who were in the same indoor environment (e.g. classroom or hospital waiting room) as an ill person with COVID-19, but who did not have close contact with the ill person for a prolonged period. In these situations, the Virginia Department of Health recommends that you continue your normal activities, but that you monitor your health for 14 days since your last possible exposure and follow the steps below. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, or shortness of breath. If you develop fever, cough, or shortness of breath, call 877-ASK-VDH3 immediately to speak with a public health official. While your risk of developing COVID-19 is thought to be low, there are many respiratory viruses circulating at this time so it is important to have your symptoms evaluated by a medical professional. If you have additional questions, please contact your local health department.
Take these steps to monitor your health and prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- 1. Avoid close contact (about 6 feet or 2 meters) with people who are sick or people who are at a higher risk of developing severe disease (e.g., older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions.
- 2. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20
seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after
blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- * If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- 3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- 4. Stay home if you feel sick.
- * Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home. As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.
- * If you are sick, you should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.
- * Call ahead before visiting your doctor. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take important steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
- * If you have a medical emergency, call 911 and tell the operator about your recent possible COVID-19 exposure.
- 5. Cover your coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- 6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles) using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.