A priest has been hospitalized in Paris after testing positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus on February 28.
Fr. Alexandre Comte, 43, had recently returned from Italy, where there are currently over 1,800 registered cases of the novel coronavirus.
Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris instructed priests on February 29 to refrain from distributing the Eucharist on the tongue, and to empty holy water fonts in their churches.
Fr. Comte is a resident of Rome. He drove from Rome to Paris on February 15.
The French embassy closed Rome’s Church of St Louis of the French on February 29, and placed the 24 resident priests in Rome under quarantine. The church located near Piazza Navona is the national church of France in Rome.
On March 2, the French Embassy to the Holy See announced that “any risk of possible contagion by the priest” had been ruled out by Rome’s regional health system, and the precautionary measures that led to the quarantine of the French priests had been revoked.
The Church of St. Louis of the French, famous for its paintings of Caravaggio depicting the life of St. Matthew, will reopen to the public March 4.
The Louvre has remained closed after the French government banned indoor gatherings larger than 5,000 on February 29.
There have been 130 confirmed cases of coronavirus reported in France, and two deaths.
More than 2,000 people have contracted coronavirus in Italy, according to the Italian Ministry of Health, who reported 1,835 people are currently ill, mostly in the northern regions surrounding Milan, Bologna, and Venice. So far, 52 people with Covid-19 have died in Italy.
Having been unable to sell in churches for well over a year due to the pandemic, we are now inviting readers to support the Herald by investing in our future. We have been a bold and influential voice in the church since 1888, standing up for traditional Catholic culture and values.
Please join us on our 130 year mission by supporting us. We are raising £250,000 to safeguard the Herald as a world-leading voice in Catholic journalism and teaching. For more information from our chairman on contributing to the Herald Patron's Fund, click here
Make a Donation
Donors giving £500 or more will automatically become sponsor patrons of the Herald. This includes two complimentary print/digital gift subscriptions, invitations to Patron events, pilgrimages and dinners, and 6 gift subscriptions sent to priests, seminaries, Catholic schools, religious care homes and prison and university chaplaincies. Click here for more information on becoming a Patron Sponsor. Click here for more information about contributing to the Herald Patron's Fund