Ringgold church now linked to three COVID-19 cases

Staff photo by Wyatt Massey / Catoosa Baptist Tabernacle on May 13. The church has become a growing hotspot of COVID-19 cases with three cases linked to the church as of May 13, 2020.

A church in Ringgold is now linked to three confirmed COVID-19 cases involving multiple families.

Catoosa Baptist Tabernacle announced Tuesday it would suspend in-person church services because of COVID-19 concerns - just 16 days after church members were allowed to return to the sanctuary for service.

"Our hearts are heavy as some of our families are dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 virus, and we ask for your prayers for each of them as they follow the prescribed protocol and recuperate at home," the church said in its Tuesday announcement.

Pastor Justin Gazaway welcomed members back to the church on April 26 for services, though members could still livestream the services if they wanted.

The church was one of the first in the area to reopen after doing online-only services to stop the spread of COVID-19.