Hundreds of DC Churchgoers Urged to Self-Quarantine After Priest Who Served Communion Tests Positive for Coronavirus; Entire Country Goes on Lockdown

By The Blaze. The new coronavirus — formally known as COVID-19 — officially came the nation’s capital over the weekend with news that an Episcopal priest had tested positive for the disease, and now hundreds people who attended services at his church are being urged to self-quarantine.

“DC Health was notified of a confirmed case of COVID-19 at Christ Church, Georgetown Episcopal,” a Monday statement from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office said. “Through DC Health’s investigation, in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all visitors to Christ Church, Georgetown Episcopal on February 24th, and between February 28th and March 3rd could have been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19, and DC Health is recommending that anyone who visited Christ Church, Georgetown Episcopal on those dates isolate themselves at home for 14 days from the last time they visited the church.” . . .

According to a report from WUSA-TV, the first confirmed case of coronavirus in the District of Columbia was the church’s rector, the Rev. Timothy Cole, who was diagnosed with the virus on Saturday. The station explained that Cole started feeling bad on Feb. 24 after coming back from a trip to a conference in Kentucky and that doctors diagnosed him with the flu and pneumonia before he tested positive for coronavirus.

A Christ Church spokesman said that Cole attended three services on the Sunday before he was diagnosed, which were attended by more than 550 people, according to WUSA. The church told the Washington Post that he provided communion at one of those services. (Read more from “Hundreds of DC Churchgoers Urged to Self-Quarantine After Priest Who Served Communion Tests Positive for Coronavirus” HERE)

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Italy Expands Its Quarantine to the Entire Country as Coronavirus Cases and Deaths Surge

By CNBC. Italy will expand the lockdown of the Lombardy region to the entire country, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Monday as Italy’s case count surged, making it the country with the most COVID-19 cases outside of China.

People throughout the country of 60 million should not travel other than for work or emergencies, Conte said. He added that all public gatherings will be banned and sporting events suspended. The decision was made to protect the most vulnerable people in the country, he said, and the measures will take effect Tuesday and last until April 3.

“The right decision today is to stay at home,” Conte said. “Our future and the future of Italy is in our hands. These hands have to be more responsible today than ever before.”

The nationwide lockdown is an expansion of quarantine measures rolled out over the weekend that applied to an area of the country that encompassed about 16 million people.

Schools and universities all over the country will remain closed until April 3, he said, but public transit will remain operational. All schools in the country were previously closed until March 15. He also said all restaurants and bars across the country will have to close at 6 p.m. (Read more from “Italy Expands Its Quarantine to the Entire Country as Coronavirus Cases and Deaths Surge” HERE)

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