(CNN) — The pastor of a Northern California church has been diagnosed with the coronavirus after holding a Mother’s Day livestream service with singing, according to officials.
A health order issued by the county had specifically restricted singing during church services due to the high risk of spreading the virus through air droplets.READ MORE: Human Remains Found Near Old Golf Course In Twain Harte
Now at least three confirmed cases have been linked to the event, a press release from Mendocino County announced Monday. The two other cases are from Lake County, with one person being treated in the hospital, according to a release.
Churches throughout the country have continued to hold services despite orders in many states banning large gatherings, even in religious settings. In North Carolina, a judge issued a ruling Saturday that would temporarily allow indoor worship services to resume, according to CNN affiliate WNCN, after a lawsuit argued Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order violated constitutional rights.
The northern California church confirmed that its pastor was diagnosed with the virus on social media after participating in person with the service, the county said.
Anyone who has recently visited the Assembly of God church in Redwood Valley or has been in contact with someone who has was urged to contact the county and get tested for coronavirus, the release said.
“Mendocino and Lake County Public Health are working together to reach any other individuals who are contacts with these three new cases, including anyone who participated in the live stream church service with singing,” according to the Mendocino.
Free testing is being provided on Tuesday at a local school for those that may have been exposed.
Second California church linked to coronavirus cases over Mother’s Day
This is the second church in northern California linked to the spread of the coronavirus during Mother’s Day services.
Last week Butte County Public Health announced an individual who had attended a Mother’s Day church service in the county had tested positive for the coronavirus.READ MORE: California Likely To Extend Paid COVID Sick Leave Until September
That person may have exposed as many as 180 people who were in attendance for the service at Palermo Bible Family Church.
Those who attended the service have been notified about the positive case and were told to self-quarantine, according to the health department statement.
“We faced a few challenges,” Michael Jacobsen, Palermo Bible Family Church’s pastor, said in an online sermon, addressing the coronavirus exposure following the Mother’s Day service.
Jacobsen named two members who tested positive for the virus, saying one attended the service but had exhibited no symptoms.
“They didn’t do it intentionally,” Jacobsen said. “They didn’t come to church intentionally. It was never my heart to put our church in harm’s way. That has never been my desire.”
Jacobsen said he was neither justifying or defending his decision to hold services and added that reactions have been both positive and negative.
In California, in-person religious gatherings remain banned even as other restrictions have been lifted.
Butte County Public Health said that the religious organization that held the service has cost health officials many hours and has created a “financial burden” as they work to meet the demands of the pandemic.
“Moving too quickly through the reopening process can cause a major setback and could require us to revert back to more restrictive measures,” its statement said. “We implore everyone to follow the State order and our reopening plan to help combat the potential spread of Covid-19.”MORE NEWS: Procession Carries Fallen Elk Grove Officer Ty Lenehan Through Neighborhood He Served
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.