The rector of a prominent Washington D.C. Episcopal church, who was confirmed to be the city’s first person infected with coronavirus, administered communion and shook hands with congregants at a service attended by more than 500 people.
Rev. Timothy Cole of Christ Church Georgetown told congregants on Sunday that he was the person whom city officials had been referring to as ‘patient 1,’ after announcing the city’s first confirmed case of infection.
The rector was taken to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.
Rev. Timothy Cole, rector of Christ Church Georgetown in Washington, D.C., announced Sunday that he was the person whom city officials had been referring to as ‘patient 1’ after announcing the city’s first case of coronavirus
District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday that anyone who entered Christ Church Georgetown (pictured) on February 24 or between February 28 and March 3 is requested to self-quarantine for two weeks from the date of their entrance to the church
Cole first became ill after returning from a February 22 conference of Episcopal leaders in Louisville, Kentucky, the Washington Post reports.
His health had improved by the time he attended church events last weekend, including four services that were attended by about 550 people March 1, the Post reports.
Cole had shook hands with parishioners and administered communion at the 11:15am service, confirmed a church spokesman.
Cole also had washed his hands coming in contact with congregants, the spokesperson told the Post.
The church, since Cole was confirmed to have the virus, has canceled all activities until further notice.
District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday that anyone who entered Christ Church Georgetown on February 24 or between February 28 and March 3 is requested to self-quarantine for two weeks from the date of their entrance to the church.
There was no immediate total number or estimate of the number of people believed to have been in direct contact with Cole.
There have been 627 confirmed cases of the virus in U.S. and 22 deaths resulting from infection since the outbreak began in December of 2019.
District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday that anyone who entered Christ Church Georgetown on Feb. 24 or between Feb. 28 and March 3 is requested to self-quarantine for two weeks from the date of their entrance to the church
The US has had 627 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 22 deaths related to the infection
Officials on Saturday had announced the district´s first positive test, but identified the victim only as a man in his 50s.
That prompted the rector’s disclosure at the church on Sunday.
A second local positive test involves a man who visited the Washington area from Nigeria, but he was being hospitalized in Maryland.
The new precautions come as the virus continues to roil the normal routine in the nation’s capital.
A popular convention city and a springtime destination for hundreds of school trips and thousands of tourists, Washington officials have insisted that the city remains open for business.
But tourism leaders admit that they expect virus fears to cut into the visitor numbers – including for the popular Cherry Blossom Festival, which starts on March 20.
Officials in Washington D.C., a popular convention city and a springtime tourist destination, insist the city remains open for business, despite the reported coronavirus cases. Pictured are people viewing the city’s famed cherry blossoms at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
Dr. Anjali Talwalkar of the Washington Health Department said Monday that an exposure risk is defined as coming within six feet of a person with active virus symptoms.
‘Several hundred people were potentially impacted,’ she said.
A Washington high school linked to the second case was closed Monday, though no new confirmed coronavirus cases have been reported.
Three people who stayed at the same house as the Nigerian man who tested positive in Maryland were tested Sunday and all were negative. But one of them works at the School Without Walls High School.
Bowser said the school was closed for a deep cleaning and to give time to communicate with staff and parents; she expects the school to re-open Tuesday.
Two charter schools in Washington, D.C., also voluntarily closed on Monday but there have been no reported or suspected virus cases linked to either.
Two Republican members of Congress – Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona – have announced that they would self-quarantine after coming in contact with an infected person during the recent Conservative Political Action Conference.
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was in self-quarantine after coming in contact with an infected person during the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC
A maintenance worker walks past the office of Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, which is closed ‘until further notice’ after the congressman agreed to self-quarantine because he also came in contact with a person infected with coronavirus at CPAC
Bowser said she was ‘evaluating’ whether to declare a ‘public health emergency’ if the virus continues to spread.
As both a mayor and the de-facto governor of a quasi-state, Bowser has more powers than the average city mayor.
Formally declaring a health emergency would enable her to impose quarantines and closures and also take steps to prevent price gouging on supplies, she said.
‘I don’t believe that’s where we are right now,’ Bowser said.
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