Orange County

17 Apopka church members test positive for COVID-19 following July 4 gathering

APOPKA, Fla. — More than a dozen members of Journey Christian Church in Apopka have tested positive for COVID-19 since July 4.

It started with one positive case during a Fourth of July celebration. Soon that turned into at least 17 positive cases.

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“There is a certain group of people that many have been together during the Fourth of July weekend. A lot of families and a lot of communities were gathering, and from that came one person that wasn’t feeling good,” associate pastor Dustin Aagaard said.

The church has another campus in Lake County, and between both campuses there are more than 1,200 members.

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“The people that have been impacted that have tested positive have been at both campuses. They have been throughout the different department levels, from pastors to staff to lay people in the congregation,” Aagaard said.

Both campuses closed last May due to the pandemic but reopened in phases at the end of summer 2020. And masks were mandatory until May 2021.

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“We want people to feel confident being told one thing and another thing is happening, and so we want to be fully transparent on what’s happening,” Aagaard said.

Karen Parks

Karen Parks,

Karen Parks is a reporter at WFTV.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.