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San Diego County issues COVID-19 outbreak notices for two more Awaken Church locations

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Posted at 4:47 PM, Dec 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-02 19:51:30-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego County public health officials added two more church locations to a public health advisory over COVID-19 outbreaks issued last week.

Officials asked church-goers who attended indoor services and events at Awaken Church's 1760 Descanso Avenue (San Marcos) and 861 Showroom Place (Chula Vista) locations between Nov. 15 and 22 to quarantine for 14 days following COVID-19 outbreaks.

On Nov. 28, the county asked indoor service and event attendees at Awaken Church's 7620 Balboa Ave. location to quarantine after an outbreak.

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"All of those who attended services at any of the three locations during the specified times should also be tested for COVID-19," the county's release on Wednesday said.

So far, the county says the three outbreaks have totaled 64 coronavirus cases.

Wednesday, county Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said Awaken Church has not been working with the county despite their efforts.

"For the overwhelming majority of religious services out there and faith communities who are acting responsibly, we say thank you," Fletcher said during a Wednesday press conference on COVID-19 in the region. "For other entities that have chosen to act irresponsibly, entities in particular like the Awaken Church where we have been forced to have to share outbreak information because of their lack of cooperation and notifying members of their congregation about cases there, we continue to implore the public to recognize the very real danger of indoor religious services."

Following the initial announcements of an outbreak, the church continued to hold indoor services. The church has received multiple cease-and-desist orders from the county.

The church's website says it has moved Wednesday services in San Diego online through December. Sunday services on the church's website did not appear to be changed. The church also has locations in El Cajon and Carlsbad.

Officials advised members of the church to wear face coverings and practice social distancing, and to avoid large gatherings.

Generally, the county does not reveal the locations of community outbreaks, which are three or more COVID-19 cases from different households within two weeks at one location. The county has done so in this case because "public health has been unable to identify and notify all of those potentially exposed."