coronavirus pandemic

Health Officials Alert Public Over 2 Additional Outbreaks at Awaken Church Locations

On Wednesday, the county added two Awaken Church locations

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The county put out a public health alert after multiple outbreaks were confirmed at three of the church’s locations. NBC 7’s Omari Fleming has the story.

The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency is advising the public of COVID-19 outbreaks at three Awaken Church locations.

On Saturday, the county advised that any person who attended Awaken Church at 7620 Balboa Avenue, between November 15 through 22, should quarantine for 14 days following their last date of exposure and to watch out for COVID-19 symptoms.

On Wednesday, the county added two Awaken Church locations:

  • 1760 Descanso Avenue, San Marcos, CA, 92078, between November 15 and November 22.
  • 861 Showroom Place, Chula Vista, CA, 91914, between November 15 and November 22.

As of Wednesday, the three outbreaks have totaled 64 cases, according to the county.

The county said they're taking the unusual step of publicly identifying an outbreak site because contact tracers have not been able to reach everyone. 

"We've been forced to share outbreak information because of their lack of cooperation in notifying the members of their congregation about cases there," Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said Wednesday. "We continue to implore the public of the very real danger of indoor religious services, the danger of the spread, and of the increase in cases and what it can lead to."

All of those who attended services at any of the three locations during the specified times should also be tested for COVID-19, the county advised.

During a virtual service Wednesday, guest pastor took shots at Governor Gavin Newsom and the state's response to the pandemic.

"He's no longer governor Nussolini [a play on Newsom and Mussolini]. He's the Grinch," pastor Rob McCoy said. "When we look at the data… they're just moving the influenza and pneumonia cases and calling it COVID and scaring the living daylights and operating by fear."

The church moved its mid-week services at its San Diego County locations online for the rest of December, according to its website.

A community setting outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households within two weeks of their illness onsets.

On Wednesday, 89 community outbreaks were reported in the past seven days. County Public Health Officer, Dr. Wilma Wooten said community outbreaks have almost doubled from October to November.

The county reminds the public they should wear face coverings and practice social distancing. People should also avoid large gatherings. No more than three households are recommended for outdoor gatherings and gatherings indoors are prohibited for counties in the purple tier.