CNN interviewed several congregants of an Ohio church about their decision to attend a service, despite repeated warnings to stay home to help fight the growing coronavirus outbreaks.
The mayor of Monroe, Ohio, Jason Frentzel, has pleaded with the pastors at Solid Rock Church to stop holding in-person services, but Frentzel has been powerless to ban services because churches are exempted under Gov. Mike DeWine’s stay at home order that bans mass gatherings.
Butler County Health Commissioner Jennifer Bailer said she talked to the attorney who represents the church who said it is practicing social distancing, has sanitizing stations on-site and thoroughly cleans the church before and after services.
“We are often asked many times a day why we have not shut them down. It’s because the governors gave churches an exemption. We would prefer as public health authorities for them not to meet in such large numbers,” said Bailer.
This week, CNN’s Gary Tuchman caught up with some of the church’s congregants, including one woman who explained that she is not worried about catching or spreading the virus because she is “covered in Jesus’ blood.”
“I wouldn’t be anywhere else,” the woman said, referring to the church.
“Aren’t you concerned you can infect other people if you get sick inside?” Tuchman asked.
“No,” the woman responded. “I’m covered in Jesus’ blood. I’m covered in Jesus’ blood.”
“But what about other people who don’t go to this church who you might encounter?” Tuchman pressed.
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“I go to the grocery store every day. I’m in Walmart, Home Depot. All of those people,” she explained.
“But you could get them sick,” Tuchman fired back. “They could get me sick. But they’re not because I’m covered in his blood. Thank you very much,” she said before driving off.
CNN’s cameras witnessed several churchgoers exchanging hugs as they walked into the church building to attend a service.
“The blood of Jesus cures every disease,” said another churchgoer, citing a passage from the Bible.