Two priests in Queens and Brooklyn test positive for coronavirus

A sign posted at St. Thomas Church Religious announces that public services are postponed due to coronavirus concerns, Wednesday, March 18, 2020 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Two priests in New York City have reportedly tested positive for coronavirus, according to the Diocese of Brooklyn

Church officials say that one priest is from Sacred Heart of Jesus in Glendale, Queens, and last celebrated Mass on Sunday, March 15 at 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. He was also at the soup supper on Saturday, March 14 in the church basement.

The other priest celebrated Mass at St. Matthew’s Church in Crown Heights, Brooklyn on Sunday, March 15 at 11:30 a.m.

Both churches and rectories will now undergo a deep cleaning and sanitization, following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control.

In addition, the Diocese of Brooklyn has announced that they will be closing all churches in Brooklyn and Queens, effective as of noon on March 20, in order to prevent the possibility of the virus spreading. All rectories were closed for business at noon, and parish office business will continue by telephone only.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be limited to emergencies only, and confessions will be taken in accordance with social distancing measures. Spiritual counseling will be provided over the phone.

“The Diocese is committed to serving the faithful in Brooklyn and Queens during this difficult time,” the Diocese said in a statement. “While contact in person is limited at this time, the pastors and priests at our parishes are available by phone and via social media to help the faithful get through this trying time.”


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