Hope Church pastor tests positive for COVID-19, leaving 12 staff members under quarantine

Hope Church pastor tests positive for COVID-19, leaving 12 staff members under quarantine
(Source: CDC)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A pastor at Hope Church in Memphis has tested positive for COVID-19.

Senior associate pastor Dr. Eli Morris released a statement to the congregation, informing them that his wife had come in contact with a person who had tested positive for coronavirus on March 19.

He and his wife were tested on March 20. He learned that he had also tested positive for the virus on March 22. They are still awaiting the results of his wife’s test.

Morris says they are both okay with mild symptoms, not hospitalized and will be under required quarantine until early April.

The senior pastor of Hope Church, Reverend Rufus Smith, and 11 other staff members are also under self-quarantine due to their contact with Morris. Rev. Smith says he is asymptomatic.

The church campus will be closed until April 7, per Mayor Jim Strickland’s “Safer at Home” order.

Protecting yourself from coronavirus

The Shelby County Health Department would like members of the general public to take simple steps to reduce the spread of coronavirus:

  • Washing hands with liquid soap and water, and rubbing for at least 20 seconds, or using alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are not available;
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing;
  • Staying home if you are sick, especially with respiratory symptoms.
  • Regularly cleaning surfaces touched by many people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people 60 and up and individuals with underlying chronic health conditions should stay at home as much as possible and avoid crowds.

The CDC also states wearing face masks is not necessary for the general public and may not provide protection from the virus.

For more information, click here.

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