Pastor Who Said Mask-Wearing Is Optional Was in ICU with COVID-19


  • A pastor in Idaho was hospitalized with the novel coronavirus after telling his congregation that facemasks aren’t required when attending church services. 
  • Paul Van Noy has been in the ICU for almost 2 weeks. 
  • Though five more church staff contracted COVID-19, their ministry coordinator says the church’s lack of mask policy is not going to change.

Wearing a facemask is one of the ways we can all do our part from stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

A senior pastor of the Candlelight Christian Fellowship, Paul Van Noy, was hospitalized with COVID-19 after telling members of his congregation that wearing a mask wasn’t required to attend church services.

The Idaho resident and his wife, Brenda, both contracted the virus. However, Paul had to be admitted to the ICU while his wife recovered at home.

In a statement shared by his wife and the church staff, Van Noy said he’s been in the ICU for 11 days and counting. He’s been told that it will be a few more days before he can be transferred to a regular room. He’ll spend a couple of days there before he’s allowed to go home to recover.

Van Noy says he prays every day for health and strength for everybody so that they can worship again together “soon”. 

Candlelight Christian Fellowship is based in Kootenai, where facemasks are mandated. However, Van Noy said in a Facebook post on July 17, people who want to wear a mask “should be allowed to do so” and if they don’t, “that’s okay too.” “We will not close down our church.” 

Body ministry coordinator Eric Reade said that Van Noy ordered the church’s programs to be shut down for 13 days to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and that five more church staff have contracted COVID-19. Despite these, Reade says the church’s stance on masks will remain the same.

“The position is, if you feel comfortable wearing a mask, you can. If you’re not comfortable wearing a mask, you don’t have to,” Reade told The Spokesman-Review. “Nobody is going to be criticized for whatever decision they make.”

Source: People

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