‘I Am The Individual’: DC Priest With Coronavirus Reportedly Gave Communion At Services With More Than 500 In Attendance

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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  • A Washington, D.C., priest has been diagnosed with coronavirus after attending church services with more than 500 people.
  • All services at Christ Church, Georgetown have been suspended.
  • “I can now confirm that I am the individual who tested positive for the Coronavirus,” Rev. Timothy Cole said in a statement Sunday.

A priest in Washington, D.C., has been diagnosed with coronavirus after attending church services where more than 500 people were present.

Rev. Timothy Cole attended at least three services at Christ Church Georgetown in Washington, D.C., between Feb. 24 and March 3. according to CBS affiliate WUSA. Services at the church were canceled Sunday, CBS News’ Nancy Chen reported, and the church is attended by “many government officials and prominent Washingtonians.”

Christ Church spokesman Rob Volmer confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation that Cole distributed communion at one of the services on March 1.

D.C. Mayor Murial Bowser announced Monday that those who attended the services should self-quarantine as they might have been exposed to the virus.

“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 announced in a Monday morning tweet.

The mayor’s office also emphasized in a statement that D.C. Health recommends anyone who visited the church should self-isolate, not go to work or school, use public transit or ride-sharing, or attend any large or public gatherings.

Cole said in a March 8 statement posted on the church’s website that the church had “suspended all services and meetings at Christ Church.”

“As we said before, we did not make the decision to close our doors lightly, but out of an abundance of caution for the most vulnerable among us,” Cole added. “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.”

Cole also confirmed that he was the first patient in D.C. to be diagnosed with coronavirus.

“I can now confirm that I am the individual who tested positive for the Coronavirus,” he said, adding that he will “be okay” is “receiving excellent care,” and is “in good spirits under the circumstances.”

“I will remain quarantined for the next 14 days as will the rest of my family,” the priest added.

The Clergy and Wardens of Christ Church, Georgetown had issued a statement the previous day in which they let worshipers know that all services would be canceled Sunday and urged parishioners to alert one another.

“God is with us. And, God’s message is clear: ‘Do not fear,'” the statement said. “Fear can be a right and natural response, one that can lead us to take appropriate actions to the benefit of those most vulnerable. And, it is a response that may be difficult to control. But, we cannot let fear overwhelm us or consume us. Not one of us is alone while we have each other. Not one of us is alone, because God walks with us.”

Christ Church, Georgetown did not yet respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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