Charlotte megachurch draws criticism from health director for large, maskless worship performance

CHARLOTTE (WTVD) -- A Charlotte megachurch is under fire by North Carolina health officials after a video posted on social media Thursday showed dozens of people crowded around not wearing a mask.

The Instagram video and viewed by thousands is drawing concern from Mecklenburg County health director Gibbie Harris, ABC-affiliate WSOC reports.

Harris didn't deny the church's right to worship, but she did want to see them take precautions.


"We have had conversations with them and continue to have conversations with them," she said.

The church said that everyone in the building was tested for COVID-19 and, at the time, tested negative. However, a negative test isn't a free test to Harris.

"A negative test is a point in time. That does not mean that person could not become infected or is not already infected," the health director said.

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A Charlotte church that was at the center of a massive COVID-19 outbreak that left 11 people dead back in October held another large-scale event on Saturday.



As of Friday, health officials said there are no clusters associated with Elevation Church in Ballantyne.

"Obviously, it is their First Amendment rights to worship in the way they see fit, but we are asking them, as we ask everyone else in our community, to wear a mask, social distance and not gather in large groups," Harris said.
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