Rev. Timothy Cole, a reverend at the Christ Church Georgetown who tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday, reportedly shook hands with hundreds of people in recent weeks.
District officials are calling on everyone who visited the church, located at 3116 O Street, Northwest, D.C., on February 24 or between February 28 and March 3 to quarantine themselves for two weeks.
The Episcopal D.C. church has already closed its doors and suspended all services and other activities until further notice, after announcing its rector became the first person in the nation’s capital to be infected with the virus.
“Out of an abundance of caution, Christ Church has cancelled all activities including church services until further notice,” Rev. Crystal Hardin said, after Cole was positively diagnosed.
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.
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) March 9, 2020
Cole later issued a statement, confirming that he was the person who tested positive for the notorious virus. He was hospitalized on the night of March 7 and is in stable condition.
His wife and two children are also currently under quarantine as a precaution. The reverend who is in his 50s has been serving at the Christ Church Georgetown since 2016.
Rev. Cole’s full statement is as follows:
“As you are now aware, we have suspended all services, meetings, and other activities at Christ Church until further notice in response to a presumed positive case of Coronavirus in our community. 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. There is no need to panic. Following sensible precautions provided by the CDC will go a long way toward insuring the good health of our community.
I can now confirm that I am the individual who tested positive for the Coronavirus.
First, I want to assure you that I will be OK. I am receiving excellent care and am in good spirits under the circumstances. I will remain quarantined for the next 14 days as will the rest of my family.
Many of you will want to speak by phone or email; however, at this time, rest is what I need most, and it will be difficult for me to respond. Should you have any situations requiring pastoral care, please do contact the Reverend Mother Crystal Hardin or the Reverend John McDuffie. For matters concerning operations of the church, please contact one of the Wardens, Chad Thorley or Rusty Lindner.
The obvious question at this point is what you should do. First, please read the information provided on the CDC’s website, linked here. If we are given any firm advice by public health officials, we will pass it to the Christ Church community as soon as possible. In the meantime, we have been asked to let parishioners know that should you experience any symptoms, please contact your health care provider.”