As many as 34 people who attended a children’s event at a church in Cleburne County in Arkansas have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The event was held in early March at First Assembly of God church in Greers Ferry, nearly 75 miles north of Little Rock. Deacon Donald Shipp told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that several other people who attended the event were awaiting their test results.

Danyelle McNeill, a spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Health, said they were investigating a new cluster of cases that were connected to one church but refrained from identifying them.

"This is a cluster within a larger outbreak in that area of the state," she told NBC News.

Mark Palenske, a pastor at the church, last week said he and his wife Dena made up for two of the cases associated with the church.

“When something like this Covid-19 virus touches the other side of the world, your first inclination is to assume that time and distance are on your side. That false assumption caught up with Dena and I this past week. We definitely tested positive for the virus,” he said, further documenting their troublesome tryst with COVID-19.

He said they could not pinpoint the source of the virus.

“Even though we were the original positives, there are people who have been sick longer than we have. It clearly made its way through a special weekend of children’s ministry at our church,” Palenske added.

He said they didn’t travel outside of Arkansas in the recent past.

The United States now has more coronavirus cases than any other country. It has reported close to 86,000 infections, rising the total numbers worldwide to more than 540,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

coronavirus test kit
coronavirus test kit Gerd Altmann - Pixabay