coronavirus

Alexandria’s First Coronavirus Case Linked to Spread Through Faith Community

Several coronavirus cases in the D.C. area were linked back to exposures at a church in the Georgetown neighborhood and a Virginia seminary

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Alexandria, Virginia, has reported its first "presumptive positive" coronavirus case in a resident who likely had contact with a patient at a Virginia seminary.

The patient is doing well and recovering at home, the Alexandria Health Department confirmed.

Officials believe the case was spread when the Alexandria resident met another patient who lives in D.C. at the Immanuel Chapel of the Virginia Theological Seminary, which describes itself as the flagship seminary of the Episcopal Church. Health officials have contacted several people who may have been exposed there.

Church officials said a D.C. patient, an organist at Christ Church Georgetown, played at the chapel and attended another event there. Anyone who visited Immanuel Chapel from February 26 to March 4 is asked to self-quarantine and monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days. Several people voluntarily isolated themselves upon learning the news.

It's the latest positive coronavirus test result linked back to the local Episcopal faith community. A Loudoun County resident and a D.C. woman had contacts with people in the Christ Church or Immanuel Chapel community.

In response, the Episcopal Diocese of Washington has closed the National Cathedral and hundreds of other churches in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

A rector at Christ Church in Georgetown, who was D.C.'s first confirmed case of coronavirus, said he continues to recover and apologized for the disruptions.

"I am very sorry for all the disruption you have had to ensure as a result of this," he said.

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