FAIRMONT, WV (WBOY) — The Marion County Health Department has confirmed that more than 200 people were at a church event in Fairmont on Sunday.

According to the Marion County Health Department’s Director, Lloyd White, a church event at Covenant Church in Fairmont has potentially exposed more than 200 people to COVID-19.

Covenant Church gathering

After hearing about the July 12 event, White said he reached out to the church’s pastor in order to work together to get those who develop symptoms testing for the virus; White said that they don’t plan on doing any testing until five days after the initial exposure event because false negatives might result from it.

White said that he was disappointed that an organization would have an event of that size without taking the proper precautions or following Gov. Jim Justice’s restrictions, and that he nor any other member of the health department had prior knowledge of the event; if he did, White said he would have suggested they cancel or put the proper precautions in place for a crowd of that size.

Should this event result in a continued spike in cases in Marion County and/or Justice suggest more restrictions, White said that the health department does have the jurisdiction to put extra precautions in place to prevent the virus from continuing to spread.