Unfortunately, we have just learned that Father Jacob tested positive for Covid-19. He is experiencing moderate symptoms, but is doing well otherwise and has not developed any respiratory difficulties. He will remain in isolation as he convalesces; let us all pray for his quick recovery. It is tentatively estimated that he may be able to return to the parish November 5th, barring any complications.
As was reported earlier, Father Marty remains negative for Covid-19 and is not experiencing any symptoms. His last direct contact with Fr. Jacob was on Saturday, October 17th. Though all signs indicate Father Marty has not contracted the virus, he will be taking another test on Wednesday. If he tests negative once more, then he will return for the weekend of November 1st.
Extensive contact tracing has been conducted, and it is now believed that Father Jacob’s exposure to Covid-19 is unrelated to the infected individual who was at Mass last Sunday, October 18th. There is also no reason to believe Fr. Jacob was contagious during Mass that day.
Father Marty and Father Jacob are heeding the advice of medical professionals, especially as relates to their return to the parish, so you can rest assured that all of their decisions are informed by expert opinion and adhere to CDC guidelines.
While this is a regrettable situation, it serves as a potent reminder that the presence of this virus in our community is very real. As a parish, we must all remain vigilant with the observance of safety protocols, such as mask usage and social distancing, that are intended to keep us safe.
Remember, prayer is a powerful practice, especially during these times; we urge everyone to continue praying for those who are ill, for the discovery of a viable cure and/or vaccine, and for the health of Father Marty and Father Jacob.
We will continue to provide regular updates as more information becomes available.