Alabama Pastor and Church Members Self-Quarantined in U.S. After Being Held in Israel

Alabama pastor Chris Bell is back home under quarantine after returning from a trip to Israel with a group from his church. Submitted photo

FAIRHOPE, Ala. (BP) — An Alabama pastor and 12 church members who tested negative for the coronavirus (COVID-19) while quarantined in Israel are now safely in the U.S. under self-quarantine, the pastor told Baptist Press Thursday (March 12).

Pastor Chris Bell of 3Circle Church based in Fairhope, along with a team of church leaders and their wives, are spread among four separate quarantine locations, Bell said, and will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quarantine guidelines for COVID-19, short for coronavirus disease 2019.

“The thing I want folks to know is we are fully completing a CDC guideline-compliant, medically overseen quarantine,” Bell told BP. “We think we need to do it, just to be safe. We don’t know for sure that we were exposed, but we were potentially exposed.”

One couple returned to their personal residence and have voluntarily placed under quarantine their children, Bell said, but others have not seen their children since traveling to the Holy Land March 2.

“We went straight from the airport to quarantine,” Bell said. “It’s not just about us; it’s about protecting other people and making sure that we do this right and responsibly.”

Meals are being delivered to the travelers, and a medical doctor is supervising the quarantine, Bell said. The group will complete the CDC’s recommended 14-day quarantine, counted from the last date of exposure to the coronavirus.

Bell pastors the multisite 3Circle Church with campuses in Fairhope, Mobile and Daphne, and church leaders who didn’t travel to Israel are conducting services and programs.

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Source: Baptist Press