Houston Catholic church closes after 5 leaders get COVID-19

Texas

Visitors to the River Walk pass a restaurant that has reopened in San Antonio, Monday, May 18, 2020. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that bars and bowling alleys are on the list of business that can reopen at 25 percent beginning Friday and restaurants can increase to 50 percent capacity as the state continues to go through phases to reopen the state after closing many businesses to battle the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

HOUSTON (AP) — A Catholic church in Houston has closed its doors after five of its leaders tested positive for COVID-19, including two priests who had helped celebrate public masses.

The closure and positive tests come after a priest from Holy Ghost parish, 79-year-old Donnell Kirchner, died last week.

He was diagnosed with pneumonia, but health officials are determining whether he might have contracted the virus before he died May 13.

The members of Kirchner’s religious order are asymptomatic but are being quarantined.

The diocese encouraged anyone who attended masses at Holy Ghost to get tested as a precaution.  

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