Jessamine church returns online after coronavirus surge

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JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) — A pastor who stood beside the attorney general as he called banning in-person church services unconstitutional is now cancelling in-person services at his Jessamine County church.

Clays Mill Baptist Church Pastor Jeff Fugate says about 17 members of the congregation have tested positive for COVID-19.

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He says but not all of those 17 were inside the church the last few weeks.

The church opened May 10 to staff but began in-person services that reached over 200 people beginning May 17.

After learning of at least four positive cases, Pastor Fugate says he cancelled in-person services.

Before re-opening, the church took several safety measures: members sitting in every other row, aisles expanded, and social distancing.

He says some wore masks, but not many.

The pastor says there’s not much else that could’ve been done.

“I don’t know anything we could’ve done. I asked the doctor he said maybe, you know, not sing. Instead of singing our typical six to seven songs we only sang two songs. If you don’t sing it’s almost like not having church,” Fugate said..

So this Sunday he began strictly online services again.

The pastor says he plans to resume in-person services on June 21 in an open tent outside of the church.

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Christy Bollinger joined the ABC 36 news team as a reporter in March 2018. Christy comes from a little western Kentucky town called Cadiz. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 2017 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology. Christy is thrilled to be working at her dream job in her home state. She is passionate about storytelling and you can see her weekdays on ABC 36 News at 5 and 6 p.m. She's covered everything from visits from the sitting president and vice president, to high-profile murder cases. When not chasing stories, Christy loves nothing more than being at the beach and says life is just better with sand between your toes and waves crashing at your feet. She is also a big animal lover. She's a fur momma and her mini-Australian Shepherd, Milly, standard Australian Shepherd, Bennie, and her Maine Coon, Cheeto, are the loves of her life. Christy encourages you to send her any story ideas you may have. Find her on Facebook at Christy Bollinger ABC 36, tweet her @ChristyB_news, or email her at CBollinger@wtvq.com.