6 members of one Florida church died from COVID-19 in 10 days according to its pastor, who is encouraging people to get vaccinated

  • Six members of a Jacksonville, Florida, church died from COVID-19 over ten days, the pastor said.

  • He said the one thing they all had in common was that they were unvaccinated.

  • The church, which held a vaccine event in March, is holding another one in light of their deaths.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

A pastor in Jacksonville, Florida, is encouraging his congregants to get vaccinated as a COVID-19 outbreak has ravaged his church.

Six unvaccinated members died from COVID-19 over the course of ten days, Senior Pastor George Davis of Impact Church told local outlet News4Jax.

"In the last 10 days, we have had six members of our church who passed away from COVID. Four of them were under the age of 35. All of them were healthy, and the only thing they had in common was they were not vaccinated," Davis said.

Another 15 to 20 members of the church have been hospitalized with the virus, while others have tested positive but were not hospitalized, including a few vaccinated members.

Read more: The vaccines work very well against Delta, so stop badgering the vaccinated to wear masks

The church requires congregants to wear masks during the service, according to News4Jax. Davis said they held a vaccination event in March with 800 people getting the shot. After the latest outbreak, the church is holding another vaccine event and urging everyone to get inoculated.

Florida has become the epicenter of the most recent COVID-19 surge in the US. The state has broken its own record for new daily COVID-19 cases three times in the past week, as hospitalizations also rise. Infections in children are also rising in Florida, as well as in Texas, including among kids who are too young to get the vaccine.

About 49% of Florida residents are fully vaccinated, on par with the national rate of 50%, according to the CDC.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican who has resisted mask mandates and other coronavirus restrictions, sparred with the White House this week after President Joe Biden accused him of not doing enough to control the outbreak.

Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider