The pastor of First Baptist Church, located in the small Orangeburg County town of North, said no members of the congregation have tested positive for the virus following two weeks of quarantine.
“I’ve been hoping and praying that after two weeks we would be able to make this announcement,” Pastor Sean McElrath said in a video shared on the church's Facebook page. “There’s not one single member who has the coronavirus, and we give glory to God today.”
McElrath added that no date has been set for when First Baptist will resume in-person services.
Roughly three weeks after the church reopened for regular Sunday services, the church learned one of its congregation's members who attended a service on May 24 had tested positive for the virus, exposing roughly 40 other members.
Two days later, the church said it would close its doors again and encouraged anyone who attended the service to self-quarantine.
Church services reopening to the public has been an area of contention across the country as states have began phased reopenings of their economies. Health experts have warned that any large gatherings could raise the risk of community spread of the virus, and they’ve urged the continued practice of social distancing as well as other safety precautions, such as wearing masks.
South Carolina is one of the few states where churches were exempt from orders limiting gatherings of three or more people, following executive orders signed by Gov. Henry McMaster.
There have been over 18,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 600 deaths in South Carolina, according to the latest update by Johns Hopkins University.
In Orangeburg County, there have been 359 reported cases and six deaths.