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DC Church Confirms 550 Parishioners Are In Voluntary Self-Quarantine

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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There are 550 parishioners in voluntary self-quarantine after a priest was diagnosed with coronavirus, a spokesman from Christ Church, Georgetown confirmed Monday.

Christ Church spokesman Rob Volmer confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation that about 550 parishioners from the greater D.C. area who attended a March 1 service at the Georgetown church are in voluntary self-quarantine through March 16. Some of these parishioners may have been visitors to the city, he said.

“This means parishioners are staying home and not going to work or school,” Volmer said. “We have had direct contact with a large number of parishioners who have all indicated they are self quarantining.  We have not heard of a single instance where a parishioner is not following this guidance.”

The spokesman also noted that Rev. Tim Cole, the rector of the church, did distribute communion at one of the services on March 1. (RELATED: ‘I Am The Individual’: DC Priest With Coronavirus Reportedly Gave Communion At Services With More Than 500 In Attendance)

“Most people would not have received communion from him directly,” Volmer said.

He added that “at this time we can confirm there are no other suspected or known cases of the Coronavirus within our congregation,” and noted that Cole remains in quarantine at a local hospital.

“Our last report from the hospital indicated he was in stable condition,” Volmer said.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 09: Christ Episcopal Church Georgetown is shown March 09, 2020 in Washington, DC. Members of the congregation have been asked to self-quarantine following possible exposure to the Rev. Timothy Cole, the church rector and the first known coronavirus patient in the nation's capital. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Christ Episcopal Church Georgetown is shown March 09, 2020 in Washington, DC. Members of the congregation have been asked to self-quarantine following possible exposure to the Rev. Timothy Cole, the church rector and the first known coronavirus patient in the nation’s capital. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Cole returned to D.C. from a Louisville, Kentucky, conference on Feb. 22, Volmer said in a timeline provided to the DCNF. The priest then participated in church services at Christ Church, Georgetown on Feb. 23 before he began feeling sick no Feb. 24.

The priest reported feeling “much better” on Feb. 29, a day on which he participated in an all day church vestry retreat.

The following day, March 1, Cole reportedly still felt “fine” and participated in church services. The priest discussed with the congregation the need to wash hands and told those attending the services that Christ Church would send out guidance on the coronavirus that coming Wednesday.

But on March 3, Cole visited the doctor and was diagnosed with the flu. The priest was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with pneumonia on March 5, and then diagnosed with coronavirus on March 7 — the day on which Christ Church canceled all service and activities at the church until further notice.

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.

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