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3 deaths, 5 hospitalizations linked to Charlotte church super spreader event

County health officials say more than 1,000 people were at the events. They are encouraging anyone who was there to get tested.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Another person linked to convocation events at the United House of Prayer for All People has died from the coronavirus. 

In all, three people linked to the event have died.

There are 82 confirmed cases linked to the super spreader events and one cluster of eight residents at a senior living community, Madison Saints Paradise South Senior Living. The county has attempted to contact 131 close contacts of the confirmed cases.

Thursday, the county held a free drive thru testing event at the Health Department on Beatties Ford Road, near the church. The church would not hold a testing event on its property. At least 127 individuals were tested at the event.

The church held convocation events from October 4 until October 11. County health officials say at least 1,000 people attended. Guidance put out by NCDHHS said places of worship should limit indoor capacity at 100 people per room and ensure enough social distancing. Masks are encouraged and choirs are not supposed to sing.

“When a lot of people get together, it's very difficult to ensure people are actually maintaining the 6 feet distance. It’s important to not just wear the mask but to also keep the distance,” said Dr. Raynard Washington, the Deputy Director of the Mecklenburg County Health Department.

The numbers will likely continue to rise. They are urging anyone who went to the events or was in contact with someone who did to isolate and get tested.

"I'm encouraging everyone in our community, if you receive a phone call from one of our contact tracers please give us a call back, please answer the phone and please cooperate," said Washington.

There will be another testing event from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday October 23 at 2845 Beatties Ford Road.