Child who attended church youth event was COVID-19 positive

OKEECHOBEE — A youth who participated in a program at First Baptist Church of Okeechobee on July 14 tested positive for COVID-19.

The youth attended the church program on July 13 and 14, and then developed symptoms of COVID-19 on July 15. He was tested and results came back positive on July 22.

“The young man was asymptomatic when he was there,” said Pastor Mark McCarter. He said when the church was informed the boy had tested positive, they contacted the parents of all other program participants.

“We keep a record of the kids who were there,” he said.

McCarter said none of the other youth who were at the program have had symptoms, and none who have been tested were positive.

The youth program encourages the participants to wear masks, and even provides masks for those who need them, but does not require they wear masks, he said.

He said the boy who tested positive was not wearing a mask when he was at the church program.

The church has canceled a beach retreat due to concerns about COVID-19.

“We cannot in good conscience subject students to a seven-hour bus ride and weekend in close quarters,” Korey Walters, First Baptist Church Student Minister, posted on the church’s facebook page. “We care for your children as our own family and we want to love them well by keeping them safe. Thank you for your understanding and patience during this unprecedented time.”

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