San Diego

15 Employees at Rock Church Test Positive for COVID-19

In-person Sunday services limited to the Point Loma and microsite locations on May 16 and May 23

NBC Universal, Inc.

Fifteen employees at the Rock Church have tested positive for COVID-19. The cases were reported across all five physical church locations, an official with the church said Sunday.

"We are working with and helping these members of our Rock staff get the care and help they need," A Rock representative said in a statement.

Lisa Penberthy, Rock Church's executive pastor and director of operations, told NBC 7 on Monday that the church doesn't feel like their attendees were in put in harm's way by the ill staff members, none of who were vaccinated.

"Our staff members are doing well," said Lisa Penberthy, Rock Church's executive pastor and director of operations."Some are asymptomatic. Others do have symptoms present. We do not have any in the hospital and they all seem to be faring well."

The church said some of their locations and teams are directly affected and are in self-quarantine.

In-person Sunday services were limited to the Point Loma and microsite locations on May 16 and will be again next weekend on May 23. If there are no more positive cases, Penberthy said. next Sunday will be the last canceled service.

Penberthy said the situation began with three cases, and contact tracing led to 30 people. Fifteen of those people tested postive for the coronavirus. In all, 80 employees (50 staff members and 30 volunteers are quarantining as a precaution, includes those who tested positive) -- that's out of a total of 200 employees.

"Eighty people is a big blow to any organization, and so we did trim back our services this past week, offering only our Point Loma campus and microsites for in-person, and we pointed everyone else online," Penberthy said, adding that "we need those 80 people to carry out the process it takes to deliver our in-service experience, and so we did make that decision on Saturday night."

The Rock Church said its facilities undergo a thorough cleaning and disinfection multiple times throughout the week, in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention’s Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations.

Masks are encouraged to use upon entering the facilities and while in common areas. Masks are optional once churchgoers are in their seats and although the church encourages social distancing, it's not enforced, according to an official.

No cases have been reported from attendees, Penberthy said on Monday.

The Rock Church location in Point Loma reopened its doors in April, after 13 months.

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