Officials: 2 Calif. church services are sources of virus outbreaks

California
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — As Gov. Gavin Newsom prepares to release plans for how religious institutions can reopen in California during the coronavirus pandemic, health officials say two church services that were held without authorization have been sources of outbreaks.

Mendocino County public health officials say six more people who participated in a Mother’s Day service at Assembly of God Church in Redwood Valley contracted the virus, raising the number of cases to nine and making the outbreak responsible for a third of local infections.

Meanwhile, Butte County health officials say two of 180 people who attended a Mother’s Day church service in Oroville have tested positive for COVID-19.

Newsom is weighing the public health implications of reopening places of worship, as he faces pressure from more than 1,200 faith leaders who signed a petition calling on him to act more quickly.

In Chula Vista, the South Bay United Pentecostal Church wants the U.S. Supreme Court to consider their case for reopening, and whether their rights were violated by the state’s stay-at-home order.

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