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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 3, 2021
From: Haywood County Health and Human Services Agency
Haywood County Health & Human Services reports COVID-19 clusters at two faith communities
The Haywood County Health and Human Services Agency has identified clusters of COVID-19 cases at Woodland Baptist Church in Waynesville and at Shelton Laurel Salvation Army in Fines Creek.
Statement from Woodland Baptist Church:
During VBS one of our volunteers tested positive for COVID-19. The exposure to other people was minimal as this person served in an isolated group that was stationary during the duration of VBS. We decided to take several actions in order to mitigate any risk and keep all people as safe as possible at Woodland Baptist Church including — thoroughly sanitizing and disinfecting the area along with commonly touched surfaces, the lobby, and halls, contacted and followed up with all those who were in close contact with the original source, limited staff and other peoples presences in the building after the incident was identified, canceled services within the next 10 calendar days from the date of exposure.
Statement from Shelton Laurel Salvation Army:
“During the week of July 12-16, The Salvation Army of Waynesville held Vacation Bible School in partnership with The Shelton Laurel Salvation Army and Child Evangelism Services. The following week, we were contacted by someone who attended VBS to say they had tested positive for COVID. We immediately contacted families and volunteers involved in VBS and, out of an abundance of caution, shut down worship services, senior programs, and midweek activities for the 14 days from exposure, as recommended by the CDC. The building has been cleaned and sanitized, “ said Major Susan Rodgers, corps officer, The Salvation Army of Waynesville.
“As rising cases in the county and around the country are showing, the delta variant of COVID is highly contagious, even more so than previous strains of COVID. Vaccination and masking when indoors are highly recommended for everyone. It is possible to be infected even after vaccination if your exposure is high enough. Think of the vaccine and masks as layers of protection. One is good, two is better. With both, safety is at its highest. Please take every precaution now to keep yourself, your loved ones, and the community safe,” said Haywood County Health Director, Sarah Henderson.
Both faith communities are working closely with Haywood Health and Human Services to meet all guidelines.
Additionally, Haywood County Public Health is working to identify any close contacts of those exposed. Haywood County defines close contact as being within approximately 6 feet of a person infected with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, without a mask, during the period in which they are contagious. Based on the information provided, county health officials will assess risks of exposure, determine which if any additional measures are needed, quarantine, and/or testing.