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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Hope Church pastor tests positive for COVID-19

Several others with the church are under self-quarantine.
Credit: WATN

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A pastor of a Mega Memphis church has tested positive for Coronavirus.

The congregation of Hope Church in Cordova was informed Senior Associate pastor Eli Morris tested positive, after his wife came in contact with an unnamed person who contracted the virus.

Morris reported his symptoms are mild and he is not hospitalized but will be required to quarantine until early April. His wife had not yet had her results back but is also in quarantine.

As a result of direct contact to Pastor Morris, Senior Pastor Reverend Rufus Smith and eleven staff members are also now in self-quarantine until April 2nd.

The church is closed through April 7th as part of Mayor Jim Strickland's "Stay-at-home order" but healthy staff considered "essential" under the order will be participating in video live-streaming, food and medical deliveries to vulnerable members.

At Hope, our mission is clear We want to engage our unchurched neighbors of every age and ethnicity to experience Jesus. "What exactly is 'unchurched?'" you might ask. Unchurched are not only those who have never been to church, but also those that may have grown cold to the idea of church.

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Coronavirus in Context: 

The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80-percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. 
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.