COVID cluster found at church

  • COVID cluster
    COVID cluster

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Macon County has crept up after a cluster was reported at a Franklin Church and new cases were identified at county schools.

Macon County Public Health identified a COVID cluster at Franklin Church of God on Friday, Oct. 16. Health officials said that all members of the congregation were aware of their exposure and are currently being contacted for testing.

“Members of the congregation are encouraged to quarantine if they experience symptoms,” said Kathy McGaha, the county’s public health director. “Those who test positive will be given isolation orders. In addition, church leadership has been provided disinfection guidance.”

The N.C. Department of Health defines clusters of COVID-19 as a minimum of five cases who were present in the same setting during the same time period.

Health officials did not say how many positive cases have been identified at the church.

“Based on information provided by the individual, county health officials will assess risks of exposure, determine which, if any, additional measures are needed such as temperature and symptom checks, quarantine and/or testing,” according to a health department news release.

Positive cases were confirmed at Franklin High, South Macon Elementary, East Franklin Elementary, Mountain View Intermediate and Highlands schools between Oct. 12 and Oct. 19.

“Any student or staff member identified through contact tracing will be notified,” according to a news release from Macon County Schools. 

In addition, health officials warned of possible exposure among those who attended a volleyball game at the Franklin High School gym between 10 a.m. and noon on Saturday, Oct. 10.