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Popular Megachurch Pastor Tests Positive for Coronavirus: 'The Symptoms Are So Real'

Hillsong NYC Pastor Carl Lentz (AP Photo)
Hillsong NYC Pastor Carl Lentz (AP Photo)

Carl Lentz, lead pastor of Hillsong Church in New York City, revealed on Instagram Live Monday night that he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The 41-year-old megachurch minister warned those who watched his video that the symptoms of the fast-spreading illness, known as COVID-19, are “so real,” saying the sickness took him “out.”

“I started feeling so bad,” he said. “The symptoms are so real.”

Soon after he started experiencing some of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 — difficulty breathing, coughing, high fever, and muscle aches — Lentz called his doctor, who ordered a test. The results were positive.

GET YOUR FREE FACTSHEET: Coronavirus: What You Need to Know

He described the illness as “like a flu, times 50.”

“I still don’t feel like myself,” the pastor continued. “I look forward to getting my energy back.”

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Lentz lives in New York — the U.S. epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. As of Tuesday afternoon, there were more than 25,000 confirmed cases in the Empire State. And in New York City alone, there are over 13,000 documented cases.


We are so blessed and thankful for these new offices! For 9 years, we have made it all work without a permanent space like THIS. Space in a city like NYC, means a lot. And we are gonna use all of it! Walked in on a Saturday, and every space was filled with meetings. Some of which we could never have as often or consistently as we would hope, due to no space! So it was cool to see that in action.. on one floor, women in business connect group, on another a Media and communications meeting and on another, a marriage counseling training meeting.. so thankful for each PERSON and the building they are sitting in.. and sunday is gonna be a fun one! I’m preaching at all services: @hillsongnyc @hillsongnewjersey @hillsongconnecticut @hillsongboston ...and soon to @hillsongBROOKLYN!!!!!! HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE! #OCCUPYALLSTREETS

A post shared by Carl Lentz (@carllentz) on

Dr. Deborah Birx, a physician and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said Tuesday the infection “attack rate” in New York City is five times higher than in the rest of the country.

“I’m praying that we find something that eradicates this thing completely,” said Lentz. “That’s my hope.”


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