Matthew Broderick's pastor sister tests positive for coronavirus; more churches cancel services

U.S. actor Matthew Broderick.
U.S. actor Matthew Broderick. | Reuters

The Rev. Janet Broderick, the rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills and the sister of actor Matthew Broderick, has been hospitalized after testing positive for the novel coronavirus.

After an initial assessment, Janet Broderick was moved to the ICU and placed under isolation where she was tested for COVID-19, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

“I am sorry for you to hear this news,” Broderick was quoted as saying in a letter to the parish. “I am so thankful for your prayers as I have been ill.”

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Broderick, the sister of Matthew Broderick who played the title character in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” said she was “through the worst of this and very, very much on the mend. Jesus has been so close to me the whole time and scriptures have upheld me. I so look forward to being together again in worship, to praying with you and singing a hymn.”

Broderick, 64, is being treated for a “severe form of pneumonia” at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills, according to

The diocese said Broderick possibly got the virus at a religious conference in Kentucky attended by about 500 people.

The number of coronavirus cases in the United States has crossed 1,600, with nearly 50 deaths, leading President Trump to declare a national emergency.

Speaking in the White House’s Rose Garden Friday, Trump said the declaration would open up access to up to $50 billion in financial assistance for states, localities and territories, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Globally, more than 142,500 people are infected, and more than 5,300 have died, according to the World Heath Organization.

Many churches in the United States have canceled their services.

Leaders of Houston’s Southern Baptist Association have also urged churches to suspend live gatherings for two weeks.

On Thursday, faith community leaders from across Houston, Texas, spoke on a conference call, hosted by the Greater Houston Partnership, and urged churches across the city, especially those larger than 250 members, to suspend live gatherings for the next two weeks.

Pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church also announced Thursday that all worship services were being canceled to help contain the coronavirus.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner issued a health emergency Wednesday for the city of Houston and Harris County following the area’s first possible non-travel related coronavirus case.

“While we apologize for any inconvenience this causes to our members and visitors, we feel that this move is necessary to ensure the well-being of all of the citizens of this great city, especially the most vulnerable among us,” the church said in a statement.

Lakewood Church said it “will broadcast its services online.”

However, some churches, including Southern Baptist congregations in Kentucky, have said they have no plans to cancel services despite a request from Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear urging houses of worship to close temporarily.

“It appears that most Kentucky Baptist church leaders are planning to carry on with their regularly scheduled services unless things change between now and Sunday,” Kentucky Baptist Convention Executive Director-Treasurer Todd Gray told Baptist Press. “Several Kentucky Baptist pastors will urge additional precautions by asking those who are sick to please stay home and those who are concerned to feel free to also stay home.”

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