LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - As the coronavirus continues to spread in parts of the United States, many businesses and organizations are already preparing for its potential impact in South Carolina. That includes churches.
No cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in South Carolina, but many churches said they aren't taking any chances.
"I think it will be a point of information at the beginning of or our service," said Pastor Micah Merchant with Trinity Baptist Church in Cayce. "We know not only is it coronavirus, but it's flu season. Just be mindful."
Trinity Presbytery released a letter in response to the spread of the coronavirus. In part, it says the following: "It is important for us to take a moment to evaluate the situation and understand the appropriate level of concern and response."
Reverend Robyn Garrison is thankful for the forward thinking of her denomination.
"It’s helpful for me as a pastor to have some guidelines from our denomination. That kind of says, ‘Here's something to think about now and, if this gets worse, here's some other things to think about,’" she added.
Some churches practice traditions like shaking hands or taking Holy Communion from the same cup. Due to the risk of spreading germs, some church leaders are making changes.
“Instead of people grabbing their bread and dipping it into a cup, we will have someone with a glove that is handing the bread to the perisher and then, they will have an individual cup of juice they will take," said Reverend Robyn Garrison.
Both pastors said these are important steps to protect members of their church.
“Our congregation about 30% is over the age of 60. So, there is just a lot of immune deficiency diseases that we already have,” said Pastor Micah Merchant. “So, we just need to operate with common sense. This time of year especially.”
For more coverage on the coronavirus, visit our Coronavirus Updates page.