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World News

San Francisco church closes after three priests test positive for coronavirus

Saints Peter and Paul Church in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco has temporarily closed its doors after three priests, and two caregivers to one of the pastors, tested positive for Covid-19.

In a note on its website the church said: "THANK YOU! We are deeply touched and grateful for the prayers and support so many of you have sent for Fr. Al, Fr. Armand, and Fr. Bob (and two of Fr. Armand’s caregivers) who tested positive for Covid last week. We certainly will not be able to have public Mass the weekend of February 13-14, but may be able to open the Church for private prayer next week."

The closure was not ordered by the city, John Coté, the communications director for the city attorney’s office told the Los Angeles Times. 

Places of worship in San Francisco can currently hold indoor services at 25% capacity. Face-coverings must be worn.

The church hit the headlines after holding indoor services in the summer, when indoor services weren't permitted.

It was named in a cease-and-desist letter from San Francisco City Atty. Dennis Herrera in June, after the city received multiple complaints that public mass was being held and people were coming in and out of the church.

In July, the church moved a wedding outdoors after a representative from the city attorney’s office arrived at the church. It was reported that the church had a sign acknowledging that a public health order did not permit indoor services.

The newlywed couple and at least eight guests later tested positive for the coronavirus, the San Francisco Chronicle reported at the time.

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