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Houston-area church warns of possible coronavirus exposure at Ash Wednesday Mass

Harris County Health reached out to the church Friday to let the know about the exposure.

HOUSTON — A Houston-area church was notified Friday that a person who tested positive for coronavirus was at Ash Wednesday Mass last month, and they're asking anyone who was near that person to contact local health officials.

St. Cecilia Church on Joan of Arc Drive posted to their Facebook page that they were contacted by Harris County Public Health about the case. They were told this person received ashes and had communion in the hand, but not from the cup.

The church posted the following on their Facebook.

"Today, late in the afternoon, Harris County Public Health made us aware that an individual who tested positive for the coronavirus, attended the 5:30 pm Ash Wednesday Mass on February 26th here at St. Cecilia. Harris County Public Health also told us this individual received ashes and had communion in the hand; the person did not receive communion from the cup. We were informed that the individual sat in the last pew on the left side of the Church at this service. If you sat in the last 3 rows on the left side of the Church at the 5:30 p.m. Ash Wednesday Mass, you are asked to contact Harris County Public Health at 713-439-6000. We also urge anyone experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus to seek medical attention immediately."

St. Cecilia has taken the following to help protect its parishioners: 

  • We drained and sanitized the baptismal fonts; it will not be filled for the remainder of the Lenten season 
  • We sanitized pews, door handles, and bathrooms 
  • We are providing hand sanitizers at all the church entrances 

If you are unwell or uncomfortable coming to mass or in crowded places, please stay home and join us in prayer. In addition, please keep those who have been affected by the coronavirus in your prayers."

The person who was at Ash Wednesday Mass is one of eight people who has tested positive in the Houston area.

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