500 Parishioners Quarantined After Episcopal Priest Contracts Coronavirus

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@ChristChurchGeorgetown, Facebook

More than 500 members of an Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. are under quarantine after rector tested positive for COVID-19.

Rector Rev. Timothy Cole of Christ Church Georgetown potentially exposed hundreds of parishioners to the coronavirus after testing positive for the disease. The church suspended all of its services “until further notice.”

The CDC notified the church on Mar. 7, recommending church members isolate themselves for 14 days if they attended services on Feb. 24 and between Feb. 28-Mar. 3. They also recommended calling or emailing DC Health if they develop symptoms.

The Washington Post reported that Rev. Cole did wash and sanitize his hands before distributing communion at the Mar. 1 late morning service. While he attended all three services that Sunday, he only distributed communion at 11:15.

The CDC stated that this matter remains under investigation.

Rev. Cole issued a statement regarding his contraction of the virus. He is currently in stable condition at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

“First, I want to assure you that I will be okay,” Rev. Cole said. “I am receiving excellent care and am in good spirits under the circumstances. I will remain quarantined for the next 14 days as will the rest of my family.”

“…We did not make the decision to close our [church] doors lightly, but out of an abundance of caution for the most vulnerable among us. There is no need to panic. Following sensible precautions provided by the CDC will go a long way towards insuring the good health of our community,” Rev. Cole encouraged.

The parish also quoted scripture in their statement, encouraging church members to trust in the Lord:

““Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” — Isaiah 43:1-3

Pray for an end to the spread of the coronavirus! Sts. Roch & Rosalie, pray for us!

[See also: Cure the Coronavirus: Prayers to 2 Incredible Saints Who Miraculously Defeated Plagues]

[See also: Italy Suspends All Masses Due to Deadly Coronavirus Outbreak: “A Painful Choice”]