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Pastors continue to visit patients in hospitals while still keeping a social distance

Chaplains support COVID-19 patients, their families, and medical staff during this crisis while seeing firsthand the damage the virus can do in the hospital.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As churches switch to drive-in services and streaming services heading into Easter Sunday, spiritual leaders on the front lines in hospitals are making their own adjustments.

Chaplain David Carl, Executive Director of Spiritual Care and Education with Atrium Health, is still visiting with patients in the hospital but is keeping a social distance and wearing a mask.

"For the first time in my 45 year history of being a chaplain, I'm wearing scrubs instead of a suit and tie,” Carl said.

Carl said some chaplains have faced some struggles with wearing a mask as they provide an essential service to patients, but they are working to overcome that challenge.

"The mask, while it hides part of our face, it doesn't need to hide our hearts and the kindnesses and the compassion that can still be displayed,” Carl added.

As religious bodies honor this sacred time of year, Carl said the global COVID-19 pandemic is a uniting force."It's not often all of us are brought to our knees at the same time, but this coronavirus has done that,” he said.

Chaplains are working to support COVID-19 patients, their families, and medical staff in this crisis while seeing firsthand the damage this virus can do in the hospital on a daily basis. Carl is now pleading with other faith leaders in this crucial time to find ways to hold socially distant services and condemning those who defy stay-at-home orders.

"It's one thing to have faith,” Carol said. “It's another thing to have foolish faith, and so we don't need to test God."

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