- Christian pastor coronavirus. An Idaho pastor ended up in intensive care for refusing to wear a mask and questioned veracity
- Paul Van Noy has spent two weeks in the hospital
- Five other people were infected at his church, including his wife, but none required hospitalization.
Christian pastor coronavirus. A pastor in Idaho who called himself a “non-masker” during a service and repeatedly questioned the veracity of coronavirus case reports is in intensive care after contracting COVID-19.
Paul Van Noy, senior pastor of Candlelight Church in Coeur d’Alene, has spent two weeks in the hospital with a diagnosis of Covid-19, confirmed to CNN ministry coordinator Eric Reade. Five other church staff members were also infected with coronavirus, but all have recovered, he said.
In a comment shared via Candlelight Church, Van Noy said that he will soon be moving from intensive care to another room at the hospital and then recovering at home.
“Right now I feel fine, but I still need a lot of oxygen, especially when trying to get out of bed,” he said in a statement through the church.
His wife also contracted Covid-19 but was not hospitalized, according to the church. The couple is among more than 3,050 cases in the northwest Idaho area, local health data shows.
Candlelight Church temporarily closed its doors in March but reopened for in-person services in early May. The Van Noy church does not require parishioners to wear masks, Reade told CNN.
In a July 22 service posted online, Van Noy said that while he doesn’t mind other people wearing masks, he didn’t “want to be told” that he needed to wear one.
He also said he would not abide by the order if the city asks him to stop services in person, although the church also broadcasts its services live. Nationally, church leaders have been fined, and even arrested, for performing services during the pandemic.
In a July Facebook post, Van Noy falsely claimed that wearing masks does not prevent the transmission of Covid-19, and urged his parishioners not to fear the “cause or effect of Covid-19.”