Update (Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020):
On Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, KFL&A Public Health confirmed 13 cases connected to the outbreak at the Third Day Worship Centre.
Update (Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020):
On Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, KLF&A Public Health confirmed nine cases are connected to the outbreak at Third Day Worship Centre.
A Kingston-area church, Third Day Worship Centre, has confirmed that it is the place of worship at which an outbreak has been declared by KFL&A Public Health.
“We have learned that there are individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in our church,” said Third Day Worship Centre in an emailed response to Kingstonist inquiries on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. “Upon learning that the individual, a member of our congregation, was at our service on the 29th of November 2020, we immediately contacted KFL&A Public Health to report and contain. They have worked closely with us through this process and we have appreciated their guidance. All individuals that have tested positive are self-isolating at home. Individuals deemed to be at high risk were and continue to be in communication with KFL&A Public Health.”
The church, which has recently been holding three in-person services each Sunday, has cancelled those services until December 20th.
“In the interest of protecting our congregation from further spread, we voluntarily moved to online services until further notice. We also closed our offices immediately, disinfected and sanitized the church and hope members of the church and region at large have a safe recovery,” the church said. “KFL&A Public Health and Third Day Worship Centre are taking every step to prevent further transmission and we will continue to work closely with KFL&A Public Health.”
In a video update to the community on Monday, KFL&A Public Health’s Dr Kieran Moore disclosed that nine cases of COVID-19 were directly linked to a Kingston-area church, with an additional 15 cases confirmed as secondary to those initial cases.
The outbreak at the church comes after public outcry over the church’s invitation of a preacher from outside the province, and advertising of the event to residents of the Toronto area, which is currently a Gray zone. The church later called that ad “a mistake” and deleted the post. Third Day Worship Centre says that the outbreak is not related to that visit. “We understand this to be in relation to a larger outbreak occurring in the Kingston region and had nothing to do with visitors to our church or other regions,” the church said in their response.
The outbreak also follows controversy over the alleged preaching of COVID-19 conspiracy theories and questioning of the legitimacy of the COVID-19 pandemic by the church’s head pastor, Apostle Francis Armstrong.
Dr Kieran Moore indicated on Monday that KFL&A Public Health is now tracking 400 contacts as possible cases of COVID-19, with 55 confirmed active cases.