23 COVID-19 cases connected to Sheboygan County church, services now virtual

SHEBOYGAN -- The Sheboygan County Division of Public Health says there have been 23 confirmed COVID-19 cases associated with a church in Sheboygan Falls. The church has moved to virtual services.

Leaders with Pentecostals of Sheboygan County (POSC) church tell FOX6 that 18 of the 23 are members of the church. The church's pastor said the outbreak is related to a birthday party at a non-church function, where many parishioners were in attendance and asymptomatic.

Pentecostals of Sheboygan County (POSC) church

Working with the health department, moving to virtual services for the next few weeks, POSC leaders said: "We're being cautious at the church house after this week having several that have tested positive for this COVID-19 virus. Certainly, we want to pray for them. We don't take this lightly."

Sheboygan Falls City Hall is also temporarily closed after officials say a coronavirus case was confirmed among its staff.

"There's a little bit of fear within me because this is the community I grew up, I know most of the people," said Sheboygan Falls resident Nathaniel Wise.

Sheboygan Falls City Hall

Many in the city are still choosing not to wear masks. Residents are left with mixed feelings.

"Depending upon positive cases or not, it doesn't mean it's a severe thing for people. Especially when you look at the current death rate for this virus," John Reitz, a Sheboygan Falls resident, said.

According to the Sheboygan County Division of Public Health, those affected by the outbreak are in quarantine. POSC has operated under proper safety guidelines, including the 25% capacity restriction since the "Safer at Home" order was lifted.

Sheboygan County Division of Public Health

POSC leaders said they do not believe anyone caught COVID-19 inside the church building because, they say, they have been practicing proper safety precautions. That is not, however, confirmed by health officials.

Sheboygan County had 171 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday morning, June 17. Of those, 121 cases have recovered and are no longer ill. One active case is currently hospitalized.

Four confirmed cases are deceased in the county. Three individuals who passed away are in the 60+ age group and one is in the 40-59 age group.

The Sheboygan County Division of Public Health released the following prevention tips: