A Pentecostal Church in a suburb of Sacramento has been linked to nearly six dozen cases of the new coronavirus, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. According to the Sacramento County public health department, 71 members of Bethany Slavic Missionary Church’s 3,000-member congregation have tested positive, including the pastor, with more confirmed cases likely on the way. The church didn’t stop holding large services until March 18, and church greeters typically welcome congregants with a handshake, the Chronicle reports.
“It’s outrageous that this is happening. Obviously there is freedom of religion, but when it’s impacting public health as this is, we have to enforce social distancing,” said Sacramento County Public Health Director Peter Beilenson, according to the Chronicle.