COVID Outbreak at Private School Leads to Setbacks in Redding

A Northern California Christian school is experiencing an explosion in COVID-19 cases after a pastor affiliated with the school went viral for declaring face masks “worthless.”

Shasta County health officials have linked 274 coronavirus cases to the outbreak at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding. Shasta now has the highest rate of new cases among all 58 California counties, which has forced officials to resume some restrictions on indoor businesses. Health officials say Bethel is driving the spread.

“A pastor associated with the church has been criticized for holding large rallies across the U.S. in defiance of local health orders. The rallies have drawn thousands of participants. Most don’t wear face masks or practice social distancing,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

“After the outbreak was first reported last week, the school said it took several measures to curb the spread of infection, including switching to online instruction and asking its 1,600-student body to self-quarantine. The school said that it required face coverings and social distancing all the time, with daily temperature checks taken when people enter the school.”


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