Archived News

COVID-19 cluster identified in Macon church

COVID-19 cluster identified in Macon church

Macon County Public Health has identified a COVID-19 cluster of positive cases in an area church located in Franklin.

N.C. Department of Public Health defines clusters of COVID-19 in workplace, educational, and other community settings as:

 A minimum of five cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period and

 Plausible linkage between cases; where cases were present in the same setting during the same time-period (e.g., same shift, same classroom, same physical work area); that the timing fits with likely timing of exposure; and that there is no other more likely source of exposure for identified cases (e.g., household or close contact to a confirmed case in another setting).

Seven members of Evangelical Ebenezer’s congregation have tested positive; all members of the congregation are aware of their exposure, and are currently being contacted for testing. All members of the congregation have also been given instructions to quarantine until they receive a negative test result; those who test positive will be given isolation orders for 14 days. In addition, church leadership has been provided disinfection guidance. This brings Macon County to a total of 16 positive cases: 13 active, 2 recovered, and 1 death.

MCPH is working to identify additional close contacts of these individuals. The CDC defines close contact asbeing within approximately 6 feet of a person with an infection with COVID-19 case for a prolonged period oftime of 10 minutes or longer. Based on information provided by the individual, county health officials willassess risks of exposure, determine which if any additional measures are needed such as temperature and symptom checks, quarantine and/or testing.

Related Items

The entire state of North Carolina is under a “Safer at Home” executive order, currently under phase two. Olderadults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk forsevere illness from COVID-19; however, anyone of any age can become infected with this illness. Therefore, we ask that community members strictly follow the governor’s orders and continue to practice socialdistancing, as well as safe hygiene measures such as hand washing and frequently cleaning touched objectsand surfaces.

The public can monitor the different phases of re-opening and learn more about the restrictions at It is important to make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is coming directly from reliablesources. For more information, visit the CDC’s website at and NCDHHS’website at, which also includes future positive COVID-19 test results in North Carolina. 

Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.