Mobile pastor, church members back in US following quarantine in Bethlehem

By Grace Thornton
The Alabama Baptist

A group from Mobile’s 3Circle Church that was quarantined in a Palestinian hotel after a coronavirus scare made it back home this morning (March 10), according to a statement on the church’s Facebook page:

“Continuing the precautionary measures begun in Palestine, Pastor Chris and team have chosen to complete a medically-supervised quarantine. None of the team will participate in any church activities this coming Sunday. They will be released from quarantine only under direct medical supervision,” the statement said. “We uphold the highest concern, not just for ourselves, but for the health and morale of our communities.”

The ordeal began when the group left March 1 for a tour of Holy Land sites. They landed in Israel on March 3, spending the night at the Angel Hotel in Bethlehem, which is located in the West Bank, a Palestinian territory.

Late the next day, the group got word that a tourist who had stayed at the hotel the previous week tested positive for coronavirus after arriving back in his home country of Greece. After a hotel employee also tested positive for the virus, the 3Circle group was eventually brought back to the hotel to be quarantined. At least seven members of hotel staff tested positive for the virus.