Priest with Coronavirus Shook Hands with Hundreds of Worshippers, Officials Say

By Melanie Arter | March 9, 2020 | 6:20pm EDT

A priest in Washington, D.C., who shook hands with more than 500 worshippers, has been identified as the city’s first coronavirus case.

Rev. Timothy Cole of Christ Church Episcopal in Georgetown was diagnosed on Saturday and has been hospitalized in stable condition.

The church cancelled all church activities including church services until further notice, the first time the church has had to close since the 1800s, the Independent reported.

Meanwhile, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is recommending anyone who visited the church on Feb. 24th and between Feb. 28th and March 3rd to self-quarantine for 14 days.

“Visitors to Christ Church, Georgetown Episcopal on Feb 24th, and between Feb 28th and Mar 3rd could've been exposed to COVID-19, and DC Health recommends that anyone who visited on those dates isolate themselves at home for 14 days from the last time they visited the church,” Bowser tweeted.

Several hundred people are suspected of having contact with the priest, which includes shaking hands and receiving communion, officials say.


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