A DC priest who shook the hands of 500 worshippers during communion has announced he’s contracted coronavirus.
“BREAKING: A D.C. priest has Coronavirus. He offered communion and shook hands with more than 500 worshippers last week and on February 24th,” tweeted ABC7’s Sam Sweeney.
BREAKING: A D.C. priest has Coronavirus. He offered communion and shook hands with more than 500 worshippers last week and on February 24th. All worshippers who visited the Christ Church in Georgetown must self-quarantine. Church is cancelled for the first time since the 1800's
— Sam Sweeney (@SweeneyABC) March 9, 2020
The hand shaking took place despite many other Catholic churches changing their worshipping practices in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.
USA Today reports that at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception,
“Priests have started asking worshippers not to shake hands at the sign of peace, which occurs around midway through the Catholic service. Most Masses here normally don’t offer wine during communion, but those that do are suspending the use of the shared chalices for now.”
Such precautions are not being followed at other religious sites in regions impacted by the coronavirus.
Videos of two men licking holy shrines in Iran went viral last week, with one individual seen licking the Masumeh shrine in Qom, while saying, “I’m not scared of coronavirus.”
In another video, a man states he plans to lick the shrine “so the disease can go inside my body and others can visit it with no anxiety.”
The men face up to two years in jail in addition to 74 lashes.
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