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Bethel switches to online learning after students and staff test positive for coronavirus

Bethel Church in Redding is working to contain a coronavirus outbreak after church officials say students and staff test positive.

Posted: Oct 2, 2020 6:39 PM

REDDING, Calif. - Bethel Church in Redding is working to contain a coronavirus outbreak after church officials say students and staff test positive.

Shasta County Public Health has seen an uptick in coronavirus cases, especially in college-age groups.

“We do know that when people are sick, the best thing for them is to stay home and comply with that isolation order,” said Kerri Schuette with the Shasta Health & Human Services Agency.

On Thursday, Bethel Church and its School of Supernatural Ministry acknowledged several of these cases came from its students and staff. The church believes that its students are not catching the virus in class or on campus. But rather outside of school.

“The biggest challenge we found is that our students aren't catching the virus in school,” said Kris Vallatton, a senior associate leader at Bethel.

“We don’t have dorms like Simpson. Our students are going back and living in houses with often three or four students in there.”

Bethel says there are strict protocols in place to keep the virus from spreading, such as wearing masks, social distancing, and keeping students in cohorts just to name a few.

“If they have any symptoms at all, we ask the entire home to quarantine,” said Vallatton.

“They're put into groups and they stay in the same exact group.”

“We think it’s a good move that the school has made to switch to distance learning,” said Schuette.

“It’s a great way to help make sure that the students are staying home.”

People tell Action News Now, while the coronavirus is serious, it shouldn't stop education.

“Coronavirus is a little more serious,” said Nathan Huisen of Redding. “But to shut the whole country down and shut down schools and stop certain educations, I don’t think we should be doing that.”

But others just want to see more precautions in place.

“Just take the proper measures to see if they have COVID-19 or not,” said Casey Mills of Palo Cedro. “Be careful and transparent about it.”

Bethel says it is working on the second round of testing for both staff and students. The Church also canceled its church on the ball field services on October 4 and October 11.

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