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76 nuns test positive for COVID-19 at German convent amid outbreak

85 other nuns test negative for the virus

76 nuns test positive for COVID-19 at German convent amid outbreak

Digital generated image of macro view of the coronavirus from 2020 | Getty Images

A coronavirus outbreak at a Franciscan convent in Germany has resulted in 76 nuns testing positive for COVID-19, although none of them have thus far required hospitalization.

The Sisters of Saint Francis of the Martyr St. George in Thuine, an order known for overseeing nursing homes and schools, alerted officials last week when an outbreak took place.

While 76 nuns tested positive, 85 others received negative results and 160 lay employees at the facility are awaiting the results for their tests.

“We are grateful that so far nobody is in the hospital,” said Sister Maria Cordis Reiker, mother superior of the convent, The Associated Press reported. “We don’t know how things will continue regarding our schools, it’s all still in flux.”

Last Friday, Germany passed 1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, with over 769,000 having recovered from the virus and recorded 17,177 deaths. 

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"We have two messages for the people: firstly, thank you, but secondly, that the current restrictions will not be lifted," Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a press conference last week, DW reported

"The exponential rise in infections is broken," the chancellor said. "But the daily cases are still far too high, and our intensive care stations are still very full. We cannot lift the restrictions agreed for November."

Some of the restrictions include restaurants and bars remaining closed, wearing masks in some areas of schools, and limiting gatherings to five people from two households. 

While Merkel announced that the restrictions will likely remain in place until Dec. 20, there's a possibility that they will be extended through January, with the government also discouraging vacation travel through at least Jan. 10, 2021.

Earlier this year, 13 members of a Michigan convent tied to the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Felix of Cantalice died after contracting the coronavirus at their communal living space.

The Felician Sisters who died ranged in age from 69 to 99, with one of the deceased having initially recovered from the virus only to die later from its effects.

"I get chills thinking about that," said Sister Mary Andrew Budinski, superior of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary convent in Livonia, where the women had lived, according to the Global Sisters Report. "The raw grief is yet to come."   

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