Two Episcopal Dioceses that had allowed limited in-press worship are transitioning back to online services only amid the surge in Covid 19 cases.
An Episcopal School attended by President Trump’s son had two positive cases last week. The school remains open.
As of Sunday, the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester is suspending in-person services, saying in a statement to its leaders: “We recommend transitioning from in-person worship to online or other forms of worship for the next four weeks in our Diocese.”
“This virus is deadly, and it’s real,” said Episcopal Bishop Prince Singh “And we do recognize the propensity for community spread which is also real.”
For the time being, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester will continue in-person and online services.
The diocese said in an email to its members that it is “entirely possible” and “probable” restrictions will continue through Christmas unless the COVID-19 positivity rate and hospitalization rate decrease. And when restrictions are eased, the diocese said, there still may be a cap on the number of the people who can gather in-person, regardless of what Maryland’s capacity might be set at.
So far, two cases of COVID-19 have been reported at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland. You may have heard of St. Andrew’s before, it’s where President Donald Trump’s 14-year-old son Barron goes to school.
The school’s website says cohorts of students rotate between in-person and online learning every other week.
As of Monday morning, students were still attending in-person classes at St. Andrew’s.
Not all students live in homes where everyone follows recommended practices to limit the spread of the virus. The New York Times reports
At the White House, which has been the site of several high-profile outbreaks in recent months, Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development, tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday, according to a spokesman for the agency. He became the latest in a long list of administration officials, including Mr. Trump himself, to contract the virus.
At least three people who attended an election party at the White House last week, including Mr. Carson, have tested positive for the virus. At the event, several hundred people gathered in the East Room for several hours, many of them not wearing masks as they mingled while watching the election returns.