More than 40 cases of COVID-19 have been tied to several Christmas Eve services at a church in Woburn, Massachusetts.
Genesis Church is currently closed. No in-person services were held last weekend and none are scheduled for this weekend as the church deals with the outbreak.
“We are deeply saddened to learn that people within GENESIS tested positive for COVID-19 and we are doing all we can to make sure this does not spread any further," Pastor Michael Davis said.
There were four gatherings, two each on Dec. 23 and Dec. 24.
"Every individual who attended Christmas Eve at GENESIS has been contacted and made aware of the situation as well as being encouraged, whether symptomatic or not, to get tested for COVID-19,“ Davis said.
The pastor declined an on-camera interview with NBC10 Boston but said in an email that masks and social distancing were required. Attendance was limited to less than 40% capacity.
Local health officials were contacted within 24 hours of the first five cases emerging and everyone who attended the services was alerted and urged to get tested.
The health department is conducting contact tracing to ensure everyone with potential exposure is aware of the situation.
Woburn is one of 190 cities and towns in Massachusetts that are now considered at the highest risk for transmitting coronavirus.
The outbreak in Woburn comes as the state set a daily COVID-19 case record on Thursday, when it reported 6,887 newly confirmed cases of the virus, according to the state's Department of Public Health.