The pastor of the Adams Square Baptist Church in Worcester is being fined $300 for holding in-person services in what the city believes is a direct violation of social distancing guidelines meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Pastor Kris Casey held multiple worship services last week despite receiving a hand-delivered letter from Worcester’s police chief warning him of the highly contagious nature of the virus.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported Sunday that 4,004 people have now died and 68,087 have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Casey held a service Sunday, April 26 with over 50 people in attendance, far exceeding state regulations that limit gatherings to under 10 people during the pandemic, and another service on Wednesday.
Casey is believed to have violated Gov. Charlie Baker's emergency order limiting public gatherings, according to city officials, who are set to present Casey with the $300 civil fine Monday.
Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus expressed his disappointment in the decision by the pastor to hold public worship services.