Woman says mother-in-law died after attending Charlotte church event linked to COVID-19 outbreak

Updated: Oct. 22, 2020 at 6:24 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A woman says her mother-in-law has died after attending a convocation at a Charlotte church now potentially linked to the county’s single-largest COVID-19 outbreak.

The county is reporting 82 cases and three deaths along with a cluster of six cases at a senior living facility.

This is all stemming from events held at United House of of Prayer for All People on Beatties Ford Road from Oct. 4-11.

Thursday and Friday, the health department is hosting a free testing site at the Northwest Health Department, after the church did not agree to do testing on its campus.

Catherine Williams got tested for COVID-19 as a precaution Thursday afternoon.

She says her mother-in-law died, and her mother-in-law’s sister is in the hospital. Both attended convocation at the United House of Prayer for All People.

“We don’t even know, we don’t even know - we’re waiting for results from the coroner," Williams said.

She says her mother-in-law died before she could be tested, and her mother-in-law’s sister tested positive.

“At first they diagnosed her with pneumonia and now they said she has COVID," she said.

Williams also said her mother-in-law lives at a nursing facility in uptown Charlotte. She also said voted an early voting site on Monday before passing away.

She does not know definitively if either of her family members' illnesses came as a result from attending convocation at the church.

The Mecklenburg County Public Health Department is in contact with several other states monitoring for more cases linked to the convocation events.

“North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, they’re coming here for a big event," she said. "My thing is that with COVID they should have just cancelled it.”

She believes even if they followed social distancing, it was dangerous.

“They had masks on but it was just the fact that people from different states came here," she said.

The church’s kitchen on South Mint Street was closed Thursday.

A woman answering the phone at that location says they had to shut down and they will reopen Nov. 2. She would not provide further details.

Williams hopes people will take this virus seriously.

“People have lost their lives and people just need to be a little bit more safe," she said.

WBTV reached out to the United House of Prayer for comment, but they declined.

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