Feb 25, 2021 - Health

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter return to church after receiving COVID-19 vaccines

 Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter arrive for the 58th presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017.

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter and former President Jimmy Carter in Washington, D.C., U.S., in 2017. Photo: Saul Loeb/Pool via Bloomberg

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter are attending church once again after receiving COVID-19 vaccines.

Driving the news: Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia, erupted into applause as Pastor Tony Lowden made the announcement, telling the congregation Wednesday: "Let's welcome them back — they've both had their shots."

  • Wearing face coverings, the oldest living president and former first lady waved from their regular pew at the front of the church as Lowden made the announcement, before adding that if they "get tackled" by him or the secret service "it's because we're still practicing social distancing."

Why it matters: It's a sign of a return to normalcy for the 96-year-old former president and 93-year-old former first lady, who had been in isolation since the pandemic began early last year, per WSB-TV.

  • Jimmy Carter has had a series of health issues in recent years, including being hospitalized following falls and overcoming melanoma.

Of note: The church announced on Facebook that it enacted coronavirus protocols now that the Carters have returned — including masks-wearing and temperature check requirements and capacity capped at 30% (90 people), in accordance with CDC guidelines. There's also a ban on taking photos.

Go deeper: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter: "Please wear a mask to save lives"

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