Archdiocese of Chicago announces COVID-19 exposure at Christ Our Savior church in South Holland

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SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. (March 23, 2020) – A member of Christ Our Savior (formerly St Jude The Apostle) church of South Holland shared the following information that was recently released by the Archdiocese of Chicago:

COVID-19 Exposure

Dear Christ Our Savior Community,

We are sharing some difficult news. Your pastor, Father Gosbert Rwezahura, recently contracted COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) and is in the hospital for treatment. Please keep him in your prayers.

The Archdiocese of Chicago has been asked by public health authorities to notify all those who may have had contact with Father Gosbert from March 10 to March 19 of their potential exposure to COVID-19. This includes anyone who:

  • Attended Mass at the parish on Tuesday, March 10 and/or Wednesday, March 11
  • Participated in the parish soup and discussion event on Wednesday, March 11
  • Attended the retirement luncheon for Deacon Gerald Hahn on Thursday, March 12
  • Is a member of the parish/maintenance staff (does not include school staff)

If any of the above applies to you, you may have been exposed COVID-19. The Cook County Department of Public Health recommends the following:

  • Potentially exposed persons should monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing.
  • Potentially exposed persons should quarantine themselves for 14 days, not travel, and avoid public gatherings where others could be exposed. This also includes avoiding public transportation, ride-sharing services, and taxis.
  • Persons with symptoms should remain at home and should NOT go to work; contact your healthcare provider if you develop new symptoms or if symptoms worsen.

If you develop fever, cough or shortness of breath within 14 days of this exposure, please do the following:

  • Stay home while ill (self-isolation). Practice social distancing by avoiding public places and gatherings.
  • Contact your healthcare provider to determine if medical evaluation is needed. Since COVID-19 illness is mild in 81% of persons, you may not need to be seen or tested. Please do NOT go to your provider’s office or the Emergency Department without calling ahead.
  • Do not travel on commercial conveyances, such as airplanes, trains, subways, and buses, until you are no longer symptomatic.

Additionally, if you had close contact with Fr. Gosbert at the events noted above (close contact is defined as being within 6 feet for more than 10 minutes) please read all of the documents here for additional guidance. Please pay close attention to the document titled, Instructions for Close Contacts [18779].pdf.

Actions to help prevent widespread COVID-19 illness have been implemented nationally and by our governor, and we encourage Illinoisans to continue to monitor and take steps to protect their health. Some actions you can take to help you stay healthy, reduce exposures to COVID-19, and slow the spread of the disease include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and discard it immediately.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Plan ahead for situations such as closure of schools, day care providers, workplaces, and other public locations.

Again, the documents here will help you with additional information and guidance on how to manage the next 14 days.

If you have concerns about your health and about your potential exposure to COVID-19, please contact your healthcare provider or the Illinois Department of Public Health at 1-800-889-3931 or DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV.

The Archdiocese of Chicago cannot answer questions of a medical/healthcare nature; if you have a question concerning archdiocesan or parish guidelines please email PreparednessAoC@archchicago.org.

Advice may change as the pandemic evolves. Please check the following websites for current information:

Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,
Archdiocese of Chicago COVID-19 Task Force

Christ Our Savior Church is located at 880 E. 154th Street in South Holland, Illinois. More information is available on the parish website: christoursaviorparish.org.

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