April 22, 2020
Dear Friends in Christ,
Yesterday we were informed that Father Carr from Holy Trinity was tested for COVID-19; and today, we have confirmed that Father Carr does have COVID-19. First, we ask all parishioners to pray to the Divine Physician for his healing and for the medical professionals assisting him and others suffering from this virus.
We can confirm that Father Carr has been practicing social distancing. His interaction with parishioners has been limited to holding confessions in an outdoor space while maintaining the prescribed six-foot distance. While we are very concerned about exposures, proximity to Father Carr does not mean that one is necessarily infected. For any, who may have had contact with Father Carr in the past 1-11 days, we recommend the following guidance as directed by the Virginia Department of Health and CDC:
- Not every person who has been exposed to COVID-19 or feels sick needs to be tested. (Ref 1.)
- If you had close contact with a person who has lab-confirmed COVID-19 or who was diagnosed with COVID-19 without lab testing, self-quarantine (stay home) and monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after your last contact. (Ref 1.)
- Because testing is not widely available, VDH is prioritizing testing for people with symptoms who are hospitalized, healthcare workers, first responders, and people living in or working in congregate living settings, such as nursing homes and others. Not every person who has symptoms needs to be tested. In most instances, a positive test would not change what a doctor tells you to do to get better. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, but you have not been tested, stay home and self-isolate. (Ref 2.)
- If you start to feel sick, isolate yourself at home. The most common symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. (Ref 1.)
- Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency. (Ref 3.)
As for the Church, additional measures we will be taken: we will be deep-cleaning the Church and the Rectory. We will review our procedures for confession and determine if or how we will continue in the short term. After the Church is deep-cleaned, we will review procedures for allowing the faithful to still make safe visits.
Thank you for prayers and your understanding during this challenging time.