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KSMU is dedicated to broadcasting critically important information as our community experiences the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, you'll find our ongoing coverage.

Noel Church Closes Doors For Second Time Due To Pandemic

Laura Manning via AP

O'FALLON, Mo. (AP) — The coronavirus has become so rampant in a small Missouri town that a Baptist pastor is re-closing his church that was shut down for two months earlier in the pandemic. Noel sits in McDonald County in the state's far southwestern corner. When June began, the county had fewer than two dozen COVID-19 cases. Now, it has nearly 500. Many are tied to a Tyson chicken processing plant in Noel, but the county health director says others in the community have also been infected. Pastor Joshua Manning of Community Baptist Church figures he's among them, based on his persistent fever and body aches. Test results are pending.