Hundreds of DC Churchgoers Self-Quarantine as Second Coronavirus Case Is Confirmed

A rector and organist at Christ Church Georgetown each tested positive for coronavirus

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Anyone who attended one church in Northwest Washington, D.C., on certain dates in February and March is being told to self-quarantine for 14 days because of possible exposure to the coronavirus, D.C.'s mayor said Monday morning.

Additionally, Mayor Muriel Bowser said she is considering declaring a state of emergency and would decide later Monday. The city secured a lease for a potential quarantine facility in the event that it is needed, she said.

A rector at Christ Church Georgetown tested positive for coronavirus, District officials announced this weekend.

An organist at the church also tested positive, the church said in an update Monday night.

A patient who tested positive in Loudoun County, Virginia, also attended the church.

The church said 550 parishioners who went to a service on March 1 were "in voluntary self-quarantine" through March 9. It wasn't immediately clear how many others were observing a quarantine.

More than 500 parishioners at Christ Church in Georgetown were asked to self quarantine after a rector and an organist were diagnosed with coronavirus. News4's Shomari Stone reports.

Catherine Porter, her husband and her daughter are among the parishioners in quarantine.

"I wasn't too scared; I was concerned," she said. "I guess I have a bit of a fatalistic attitude sometimes. You'll either get it or you won't. Being worried ... about it is not going to help."

They all had direct contact with the rector.

"We took communion, which of course is typical on a Sunday, and then at the end of the service we always greet the rector and shake hands," Porter said.

If you are one of hundreds of people who attended Christ Church Georgetown on O Street NW on Feb. 24 or between Feb. 28 and March 3, D.C. public health officials say you should self-quarantine for 14 days from the last time you visited the church. Also, you are recommended to call your health care provider immediately.

Anyone who attended a church in Northwest Washington, D.C., on certain dates in February and March is being told to self-quarantine because of possible exposure to the coronavirus, D.C.'s mayor said Monday morning.

Bowser and health department officials said the quarantine recommendation was based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards.

As of Tuesday evening, four positive cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in D.C. A fifth designated to D.C. is now being called a Maryland case.

The rector at a church in Georgetown has been diagnosed with the coronavirus. News4's Darcy Spencer is live outside the church where she spoke with former D.C. Council member Jack Evans who attends Christ Church.

The church rector appears to have not traveled outside the United States, Bowser said.

"At this point, he appears to have no history of international travel and no close contacts with a confirmed case," she said.

The rector returned from a conference in Louisville Feb. 22 and participated in church services Feb. 23, the church said. He started to feel sick the next day.

He felt better on Feb. 29 and participated in a church retreat and church services the next day.

On Tuesday, the rector went to a doctor and was diagnosed with the flu. On Thursday, he was diagnosed with pneumonia and admitted to a hospital, the church said. He was diagnosed with coronavirus on Saturday. He and his family were set to be quarantined for 14 days.

The first coronavirus cases in Washington, D.C., have been confirmed. News4's Darcy Spencer reports.

Officials are working to trace his path before he was diagnosed. They declined to say on Monday whether the rector gave out communion.

Christ Church, an Episcopal congregation founded in 1817, canceled all activities until further notice, Rev. Crystal Hardin said.

"Of course we are concerned, which is why we closed the doors to the church. We are taking all precautions that are offered to us, all that we have read about on the CDC website, and we will continue to monitor the situation," Rev. Crystal Hardin said.

Former D.C. Council Member Jack Evans attends the church. He said Sunday that he was not exposed to the virus.

A second coronavirus patient visited D.C. and then was diagnosed in Maryland, the mayor said. He traveled from Nigeria to D.C. and went to a Maryland hospital for treatment. He was still there as of Sunday.

The second patient stayed at a home in D.C. with three people. Each of those people was tested for the virus and had results come back negative.

One of those three people is a staff member at School Without Walls High School, in Northwest D.C. Out of an abundance of caution, the school was closed Monday for deep cleaning.

The school is scheduled to reopen Tuesday.

D.C's first coronavirus patient is a D.C. resident in his 50s who appears to have not traveled outside the United States, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a press conference Saturday Night.

Even though that patient was treated in Maryland, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counted his case toward the total number of cases in D.C.

Health officials were trying to trace where the man went and with whom he had contact.

Bowser and public health officials sought to reassure the public and said the District has adequate tests to evaluate patients. The mayor did not declare a state of emergency or cancel major events.

"There is still no widespread community transmission and the general level of risk for residents is low," the D.C. Department of Health said in a statement.

D.C. officials earlier said they would consider more serious measures to fight the virus if they tracked significant person-to-person transmission.

The city has the capacity to test dozens of cases every day at local labs, officials said this week.

Officials recommended standard hygiene practices such as washing your hands frequently and wiping frequently touched surfaces.

President Donald Trump said he isn't concerned "at all" about coronavirus cases being diagnosed in and around the capital region, News4 reported.

Three people in Maryland were diagnosed Thursday with the coronavirus. Those patients, a woman in her 50s and a married couple in their 70s, live in Montgomery County, just north of D.C., and fell ill after taking a cruise in Egypt.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced two more cases Sunday — a Harford County woman in her 80s who was hospitalized and a Montgomery County man in his 60s who was briefly hospitalized. Both caught the virus while overseas.

A U.S. Marine assigned to Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County, Virginia, tested positive with coronavirus on Saturday, the Pentagon said. The Marine "recently returned from overseas, where he was on official business," the Pentagon said. This marks the first case diagnosed in the state of Virginia.

Virginia's second positive case was a man in his 80s who also took a Nile River cruise.

Additionally, organizers of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) said Saturday evening that someone who attended the conference last week in National Harbor, Maryland, was diagnosed with the coronavirus. Organizers said the person was being treated in New Jersey and did not come in contact with the president or vice president, who attended the event.

With flu season well upon us, and concerns over the coronavirus growing, NBC 5’s Lauren Petty visited Northwestern Hospital and talked to Dr. Igor Koralnik. Koralnik shows us the right way to get your hands clean in 60 seconds.

Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story.

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