At least eight coronavirus cases have been linked to three Queens churches — including a lay minister who handed out Holy Communion, church officials have revealed.
The Diocese of Brooklyn previously confirmed that a worshiper who was last at Sunday Mass at Incarnation Roman Catholic Church in Queens Village on March 8 was confirmed to have the potentially deadly bug.
Now six congregants from St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church in East Elmhurst have tested positive for COVID-19, with the cases tied to a church community group that met on March 3, 7 and 10.
Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church in Woodside also has a confirmed case — one that is particularly alarming because of the close contact the now-sick person had with congregants, warned the Diocese of Brooklyn, which also serves Queens.
“The individual is a Eucharistic Minister and last participated in the distribution of Holy Communion on Ash Wednesday,” the diocese warned congregants of the service on February 26.
The unidentified minister last attended Mass on Saturday, Feb. 29, the diocese said.
“As a result of this information, both parish Churches are undergoing a deep cleaning and sanitization, with approved disinfectants, following guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention,” the diocese said in a statement.
Officials urged congregants to “contact their doctor if they exhibit any Coronavirus symptoms like fever or cough.” It has canceled all masses “until further notice.”
“Churches will be open for private prayer but the faithful are being asked to contact their church’s rectory regarding parish scheduled hours,” the diocese said.
“At all times, but especially now, the safety and well-being of our faith community is our primary concern.”
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