CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A leading pastor at Seacoast church has tested positive for the novel coronavirus after traveling out of state.
Executive Director of Ministries Josh Walters says that he, nor any family members, are showing symptoms currently.
Walters said he got the test result on Monday but he has been trying to practice social distancing since he came back from a trip to Colorado from March 10 to 14 feeling sick.
He went to the doctor on March 16 with a slight cough and low-grade fever which subsided during the check-up, but was not tested until Saturday.
“A dry cough this time of year is by no means abnormal,” Walters said. “It is what makes it important right now for us to practice self quarantining and social distancing. It feels so awkward and it is so hard, but man, it is so important.”
With around 18,000 people a part of the Seacoast ministry, leaders say they believe the risk of exposure to be low.
“It seems at this point that it’s been isolated to his family,” Lead pastor Josh Surratt said. “We are working from home indefinitely and we will only make the decision to come back in person when it is recommended by the local authorities.”
Surratt said he did meet up with Walters the weekend before Walters began showing symptoms and out of precaution will be self-quarantining.
The church moved to online services starting on March 15.
Walters tells me he has not been in the office since before his trip to Colorado.
He said that everyone should stay cautious and that despite mild symptoms or delayed testing, people should stay safe, but not scared.
“Just not allow fear to rob or ruin your day,” Walters said. “Don’t give it the driver’s seat in your day and we’ll get through it.”
Walters and Surratt will be in quarantine at their homes until Monday. That will be two weeks until the start of Walter’s symptoms.