Anyone who attended one church in Northwest Washington, D.C., on certain dates in February and March is being told to self-quarantine for 14 days because of possible exposure to the coronavirus, D.C.’s mayor said Monday morning.
Additionally, Mayor Muriel Bowser said she is considering declaring a state of emergency and will decide later Monday. The city secured a lease for a potential quarantine facility in the event that it is needed, she said.
A rector at Christ Church Georgetown tested positive for coronavirus, District officials announced this weekend.
The church confirmed later Monday that 550 parishioners who went to a service on March 1 were “in voluntary self-quarantine” through March 9. It wasn’t immediately clear how many others were observing a quarantine.
If you are one of hundreds of people who attended Christ Church Georgetown on O Street NW on Feb. 24 or between Feb. 28 and March 3, D.C. public health officials say you should self-quarantine for 14 days from the last time you visited the church. Also, you are recommended to call your health care provider immediately.
Bowser and health department officials said the recommendation was based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards.
Two positive cases of coronavirus in D.C. were announced Saturday.
The church rector and an international visitor to D.C. each tested positive for the novel coronavirus, church and city officials confirmed over the weekend. Both are men in their 50s.
The church rector appears to have not traveled outside the United States, Bowser said.
“At this point, he appears to have no history of international travel and no close contacts with a confirmed case,” she said.
The rector returned from a conference in Louisville Feb. 22 and participated in church services Feb. 23, the church said. He started to feel sick the next day.
He felt better on Feb. 29 and participated in a church retreat and church services the next day.
On Tuesday, the rector went to a doctor and was diagnosed with the flu. On Thursday, he was diagnosed with pneumonia and admitted to a hospital, the church said. He was diagnosed with coronavirus on Saturday. He and his family were set to be quarantined for 14 days.
Officials are working to trace his path before he was diagnosed. They declined to say on Monday whether the rector gave out communion.
Christ Church, an Episcopal congregation founded in 1817, canceled all activities until further notice, Rev. Crystal Hardin said.
“Of course we are concerned, which is why we closed the doors to the church. We are taking all precautions that are offered to us, all that we have read about on the CDC website, and we will continue to monitor the situation,” Rev. Crystal Hardin said.
Source: NBC Washington
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