COLORADO SPRINGS – A federal judge denied a request to override Colorado’s 175-person limit on religious gatherings as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. District Judge Christine Arguello wrote in her decision that allowing those gatherings to happen would “present a high risk of harm to the state of Colorado as well as the public in general.”
The request filed by Andrew Wommack Ministries’ attempted to obtain a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to override Colorado state coronavirus regulations.
Liberty Counsel, a conservative advocacy group, is appealing Arguello’s ruling.
The decision was announced one week before the ministry’s planned Pastor’s Conference, scheduled to begin Oct. 5. The event draws pastors and ministers from throughout the country and is required attendance for more than 600 students at Charis Bible College.
State public health officials linked a spike in positive coronavirus cases to a bible conference run by Andrew Wommack held between June 29 and July 3. The state sent Wommack a cease-and-desist order as a result of the outbreak.
There have been 70,025 confirmed cases and 1,952 deaths from the coronavirus in Colorado since the start of the pandemic, according to the state Department of Public Health and Environment.
The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.