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Rome Reports

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Prelate living in Pope Francis' residence tests positive for coronavirus

St. Peter's Square is empty. The pope's Angelus and General Audiences are being live-streamed. Museums remain closed. That hasn't stopped the coronavirus from slipping into the Vatican.

Two days ago, the Vatican announced that the four known cases of infection within its borders involved employees, already recovering.

Now a new case has arisen. A high-ranking official of the Secretariat of State's Italian department has tested positive for the virus and is now in a hospital.

The situation is particularly delicate, as the official lived at Casa Santa Marta, also the pope's residence. He was probably in direct contact with other people in important roles.

It is much less likely that he'd had close contact with the pope.

The pope has been tested and does not have the virus.

The Italian newspaper, “Il Messaggero,” explains the measures Pope Francis is taking to avoid contagion:

- He has lunch and dinner alone in his room.

- He keeps a safe distance from people during the few meetings he has.

- He uses hand sanitizer.

In any case, as of today, no measure can be considered too drastic within Casa Santa Marta.