Rome Newsroom, Aug 11, 2020 / 07:00 am
While Assisi was largely sheltered from a major coronavirus outbreak during Italy's lockdown, ten Franciscan friars and eight novices at the landmark pilgrimage destination tested positive this week for COVID-19.
On Aug. 10, Fr. Enzo Fortunato, spokesman for the community at the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, said that all 18 men are in isolation and in good health.
The first to test positive were Franciscan novices who arrived in Italy last week from France and other European countries to begin the novitiate year of their vocation. Fr. Fortunato stated that these newly arrived novices have had no contact with visiting pilgrims to Assisi.
"While wishing them a speedy recovery, the friars of the community continue their commitment by praying and welcoming pilgrims and tourists," Fr. Fortunato wrote on the Assisi basilica's website Monday.