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3 more dead from COVID-19 outbreak linked to NC church

November 20, 2020 GMT

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Health officials said Thursday that three more people have died of coronavirus complications linked to a series of convocation events at a North Carolina church last month, raising the death toll to 12.

Large crowds attended events at the United House of Prayer for All People in October in west Charlotte. In that time, public health contact tracers and Mecklenburg County officials have connected 213 COVID-19 cases to the events, which includes attendees and people who came in close contact with participants, The Charlotte Observer reported.

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Of the deaths, 10 were from Mecklenburg County and two were from Gaston County, officials said in a statement.

At nearby Madison Saints Paradise South Senior Living, the Mecklenburg County health department said a related outbreak has led to two resident deaths and 19 cases.

There have been only five new infections since last week, and Mecklenburg Public Health Director Gibbie Harris recently said secondary exposures among church attendees have begun subsiding due to the incubation period of the virus.

But it’s not clear how far the cases spread beyond Charlotte. Mecklenburg officials have notified health departments in California, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina and Washington, D.C. of potential exposure risks among out-of-state attendees.