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California Pastor, Church Found in Contempt, Fined Over Covid Rules


NBC News - A northern California church and its pastor were found in contempt Tuesday for repeatedly defying a court order to stop holding unmasked indoor gatherings and violating Covid-19 health orders, officials said.

"I respect the judge, I understand what the laws are, but there's a bigger law," Mike McClure, head pastor of Calvary Chapel San Jose, said, according to video from NBC Bay Area. The church was fined around $55,000, the station reported.

The Santa Clara County district attorney and the county counsel sued in October after they said the church had been holding indoor services involving hundreds of people not wearing masks, in violation of health orders aimed at slowing the spread of the deadly disease.

In early November a court granted a temporary restraining order, and both the church and McClure repeatedly violated it, the county said in a statement.

Santa Clara County Counsel James R. Williams said in a statement that the church is putting the whole community at risk.

More than 20,000 people have died of Covid-19 in California, according to the health department. Like some other parts of the country, cases are rising and prompting dire warnings about hospital capacity.

"These public health orders are literally a matter of life and death; they are designed to reduce Covid-19 transmission, avoid...READ MORE

NBC News is the news division of the American broadcast television network NBC. The division operates under NBCUniversal News Group, a division of NBCUniversal, which is, in turn, a subsidiary of Comcast. The news division's various operations report to the president of NBC News, Noah Oppenheim.



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