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Possible coronavirus exposure at Countryside Community Church meeting

Posted at 3:30 PM, Mar 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 00:21:11-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On Saturday, the Tri-Faith Initiative staff, board, clergy and about 30 people who attended an informational meeting Wednesday night were informed by the Douglas County Health Dept. of a possible exposure to Rev. Dr. Eric Elnes, who tested positive for COVID-19.

Rev. Dr. Elnes recently returned from a trip to Spain, according to an e-mail from the Tri-Faith Initiative.

Attendees of the meeting have started self-quarantining and will monitor their symptoms for two weeks.

Countryside Community Church live-streamed their service on Sunday, which features a sermon from Rev. Dr. Enlnes. He also discusses his coronavirus diagnosis. Watch the service here.

"We are committed to continuing to do everything we can to support our faith partner congregations, Temple Israel, Countryside Community Church, and the American Muslim Institute, during this time so that we can help keep the rest of the Omaha community safe. We have been closely monitoring the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, and our top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our community, both on and off the Tri-Faith Commons," the e-mail said.

On Wednesday, the Tri-Faith Initiative decided to move all spring programs, meetings, classes, tours and speaking engagements to an online platform.

“The rapid implementation of quarantining Tri-Faith leadership, clergy, and staff and physical distancing among our congregations is necessary to flatten the coronavirus curve and prevent the current pandemic from worsening,” said Tri-Faith Chair and UNMC Dean of Public Health, Dr. Ali Khan. "Our goal is to isolate the virus. Not isolate people.”

The Tri-Faith Initiative said each of their three partner congregations are planning to internally respond to the situation.

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