Nearly 3 dozen who attended Arkansas church event test positive

dandyfopp

Nearly 3 dozen who attended Arkansas church event test positive for coronavirus

"Maybe you assumed that it couldn’t happen to you, just like I did," the church pastor wrote in a social media post.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/nearly-3-dozen-who-attended-arkansas-church-event-test-positive-n1169471


Nearly three dozen people who attended a recent children's event at a church in Arkansas have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to church officials.

Donald Shipp, a deacon at First Assembly of God church in Greers Ferry, about 75 miles north of Little Rock, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that 34 people who attended the event in early March at the Cleburne County church had tested positive for the coronavirus, and that an unknown number of others were awaiting test results.

Danyelle McNeill, a spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Health, said a number of coronavirus cases have been associated with a church in Cleburne County, which she did not identify.

"We are still investigating newly reported cases and can’t definitively say they are all connected to one church," McNeill told NBC News on Thursday. "This is a cluster within a larger outbreak in that area of the state."

There were at least 310 reported coronavirus cases and two deaths in Arkansas as of Thursday morning.

Mark Palenske, a pastor at the church, said in a lengthy Facebook post late last week that he and his wife, Dena, were among those to test positive for coronavirus.

He said that when such a virus spreads on the other side of the world, "your first inclination is to assume that time and distance are on your side."

But "that false assumption" recently caught up with him and his wife, he said.

The couple and dozens of others from their church initially could not get tested, according to Palenske.


"One local doctor had a very small number of commercial tests and the rest is history, I suppose," he wrote.

He said that before even receiving positive test results, the church had followed medical advice and canceled services.

The couple's symptoms began with headaches followed by intense body aches and lethargy, as well as waves of chills, sweating and nausea, Palenske wrote in his post.

"Dena had a very scary morning a few days ago, which included a seizure of sorts and required hospitalization," he said.

His wife's condition has since improved and they are both back home, he said. Palenske said he could not pinpoint "where the virus came from."

"Even though we were the original positives, there are people who have been sick longer than we have," he said. "It clearly made its way through a special weekend of children’s ministry at our church."

He requested that people pray for health care workers, and he advised that people "take this medical threat more seriously."

"Maybe you assumed that it couldn’t happen to you, just like I did," he wrote. "Please adhere to the social instructions that you are receiving locally and nationally."

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

Is it willful ignorance or stupidity?

Why would anyone with an average ability to reason think that they were exempt from *any* communicable disease?

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

who attended the event in early March

Early March -- March 5 - 8 to be exact -- was still early in terms of the spread of Covid-19 and news of the rapidity of contagion in the US.

The San Francisco Bay Area shelter-in-place order was announced March 17.

I started my own shelter-in-place March 11.

*

My sympathies for those at the church event.

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Tilly Teabag

Have people been living under a rock?

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

“He said that when such a virus spreads on the other side of the world, "your first inclination is to assume that time and distance are on your side."”

“"Maybe you assumed that it couldn’t happen to you, just like I did," he wrote.”

nancy, these statements are what I mean. Of course, before anyone knew the extent it would be unreasonable to expect them to understand the risk. I don’t think this congregation is at fault for attending the event; they didn’t know the risk.

But this guy is speaking hypothetically, about a general feeling that “it can’t happen to me.”

Where does that feeling come from? Why would anyone think it (whatever “it” is) can’t happen to them? This is what I don’t understand. (I’m not judging. Just trying to figure it out.)

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Ziemia(6a)

The gathering was early March.

New Rochelle wasn't quarantined until about March 10th.

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Ziemia(6a)

Many feel it can't happen to them - tho I see more social distancing in practice this week. Much different from just this past weekend.

He may know those words will reach some people who don't yet take it seriously.

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blfenton

They did cancel services before the first positive. It sounds like they acted quickly.

I wonder if any children tested positive.

I hope everyone recovers.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Where does that feeling come from?

Perhaps from geographical location -- far from the urban coastal centers where there is continuous contact with persons from other continents.

Living in coastal California, in a known tourist attraction, near the busiest port in the country, overwhelmingly receiving goods from Asia, I sincerely believed that we would be the first hot spot in the country. (Lots of flights from LAX to China every day -- businessmen abound.) I doubt that I would have had the same thoughts if I were living in Iowa.

Edited to add: From the start of the Covid spread in China I was worried about attacks on our local Chinese and Asian communities.

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jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)(9b)

I notice that all the articles say early March but do not denote a specific date. COVID was declared a pandemic on March 11. You can arguably call that early March. The last time I went to the store was on March 14 and I remember being very afraid to go.

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nosoccermom

Well, average time before symptoms show up is 5 days, incubation is supposedly 14 days. So, it was either LATE "early March", or these people have been associating with one another later as well. Church community spread.

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dandyfopp

No one says they didn't know, no matter the timing in March.

They just didn't think it would happen to them.

And in that ignorance how many more have been infected.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

the articles say early March but do not denote a specific date

If you follow the links you eventually find the local report which says March 5 - 8.

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socks(10a)

Preview to trump's Easter Sunday.

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maifleur03

People tend to believe bad things will not happen to them only good things. I think it is just a safety thing humans are born with.

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nosoccermom

Hmmm. I guess it took them so long to get tested.

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maifleur03

Nancy your comment "I sincerely believed that we would be the first hot spot in the country." is one of the reasons I have doubts as to where the virus started. It should have been the West Coast before New York. Especially with Asian holidays where everyone tries to return home.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

It should have been the West Coast before New York.

I've thought about this. Importers are well aware that the entire country shuts down for Chinese New Years for 2-3 weeks, and all shipping deadlines are met before then. (Very stressful time for importers is the 6-8 week period before CNY.) Then there's the expected lag time when production restarts so shipping dates take this into account. (Plus no one would be keen on visiting factories when there's news of an epidemic raging in China.) Maybe the contacts were minimal during this window?

Meanwhile, Covid-19 has moved to Europe, specifically Italy, and spreads from there through Western Europe. I'm guessing that the East Coast has more business contacts with Europe than we do here. Tourism as well as the travel times to Europe are not as grueling as from the West Coast.

Returning travelers from China had a quarantine period, but other returning travelers did not. Locally, the first Covid case in my community of Venice was a resident who had taken a skiing vacation in Italy.

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maifleur03

Edited I checked. US citizens returning from China did not have a quarantine period only those from the Hubei province were required to do so for 14 days. The others it was only suggested that they do so.

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Tilly Teabag

In my state in Australia we are getting a number of cases in rich folk who returned from Aspen US and went about their social lives infecting other rich folk.

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lurker111

This is nothing compared to the idiots on spring break.

It should have been the West Coast before New York.

Why? I would have thought New Jersey, because China ships most of their junk there. Any city with an international airport is at high risk.

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