The Trinity Episcopal Church in Fort Worth closed its building and offices for the week after a member of their church leadership tested the supposed positive for COVID-19.
Robert Pace, 53, remains in hospital in solitary confinement, church leaders confirmed Wednesday. According to Rev. Janet Wagoner with the episcopal diocese of Fort Worth, Pace has been part of the Fort Worth congregation since December.
“His spirit is strong. He is cheerful,
fun loving and deeply spiritual man who takes care of people like you don’t
to believe. People give it back, of course, “Rev. Wagoner told NBC 5.” I think our faith communities are uniquely equipped for
come around people and support people when this kind of thing happens and us
we are honored to have this type of role in our community where we have
networks and support systems. “
Pace is the first alleged positive case in Tarrant County. After initial discussions with public health officials this week, church officials said the rest of the congregation is not at risk.
According to the episcopal diocese of Fort Worth, Pace
participated in the consortium of gifted episcopal parishes (CEEP) in its annual
conference in Louisville, Kentucky, February 19 to February 22.
In a letter posted on the church’s website, Pace said he started feeling bad around Ash on Wednesday night.
“The beginning of Lent for me was one for the record books. I
I “involuntarily” fasted for days and days, and I certainly did
I said intercessory prayers. All this because I had a virus
that some time has come around the evening of Ash Wednesday. With high fever, a
horrible, painful cough and a little nausea, this was humiliating. But I am
finally getting better, ”said the letter.
Katie Sherrod, communications director for the episcopal diocese of Fort Worth, said she was informed by the public
Health officials that Pace’s presence at Ash Wednesday church services
the premises were not a concern, because it was then asymptomatic.
Pace tested negative for the flu twice a day after Ash Wednesday. The next time he was in church premises, on Wednesday, March 4, for a Lenten program.
“That particular night program, that is when he was here –
this is what Tarrant County public health focuses on, ”Church said
communications director Sarah Martinez. “Basically they just want to achieve
to the people who were at that event and what I was told is that they simply are
reach out and ask people to monitor their health. “
At NBC 5 all the hard surfaces in the Pace offices are told and the commonly touched surfaces were swept away after the March 4 event – along with the music stand, microphone, chair and piano bench. His exposure to anyone within a meter of him was also very limited, say church leaders.
Martinez told NBC 5 that no public health official was entrusted with the decision to cancel Sunday services this week. It was a decision by church leaders over an abundance of caution, he said.
Crews are already cleaning the church and offices day and night on alternate days. There is also a hand sanitizer available, along with many areas for hand washing.
“The public health people of Tarrant County were fantastic – they phoned me for a very long and detailed conversation, which put many worries at ease,” he said, referring to a Tuesday night conversation. “[They] they told me, there is no reason for any kind of deep cleaning, sanitizing of the church premises “.
it was a polling place on Super Tuesday, particularly in its Parish Hall. On the
on election day, Pace had not been in the church building or office for
five days. Election officials provided tables, chairs and election materials
– not the church.
the church building is a nursery school, which is on vacation this week. Diocese
officials say that none of the children had any exposure to Pace.
says Pace’s wife, Rev. Dr. Jill Walters, tested negative for COVID-19, but
will remain in self-quarantine at home for 14 days. He encouraged people
who may know individuals currently isolated or self-quarantined to reach
via SMS or phone call, if possible, so they didn’t feel alone.
“This is a time when we really need the community and the information
and speaking of information, we really have to make sure we share it well
information including material from the public health department and the CDC “,
The Lenten program scheduled for Wednesday evening has been canceled.
To read the full version of the episcopal diocese of Fort Worth and the Trinity episcopal church of Fort Worth, click here.