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Vatican: No active coronavirus cases among employees

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by Hannah Brockhaus

Vatican City, Jun 6, 2020 / 09:09 am MT (CNA).- The Vatican said Saturday the city state no longer has any active positive cases among employees, after a 12th person had tested positive in early May.

According to the director of the Holy See press office, Matteo Bruni, as of June 6 there are no longer any coronavirus cases among Vatican and Holy See employees.

“This morning, the last person reported as sick in the past few weeks also tested negative for COVID-19,” Bruni said. “From today, there are no cases of positivity to coronavirus among employees of the Holy See and in Vatican City State.”

The Vatican found its first confirmed case of the coronavirus March 6. In early May, Bruni reported that a 12th positive case among employees had been confirmed.

The person, Bruni said at the time, had been working remotely since the beginning of March and had self-isolated when symptoms developed.

At the end of March, the Vatican stated it had tested 170 Holy See employees for the coronavirus, all resulting negative, and that Pope Francis and those working closest to him did not have the virus.

After three months of closure, the Vatican Museums reopened to the public June 1. Advance reservation is required and visitors must wear masks and have their temperature checked at the entrance.

The opening came just two days before Italy reopened its borders to European visitors, lifting the requirement to quarantine for 14 days on arrival.

St. Peter’s Basilica reopened to visitors May 18 after receiving a thorough cleaning and sanitation. Public Masses resumed in Italy the same day under strict conditions.

Visitors to the basilica must have their temperature checked and wear a face mask.

Italy has had a total of more than 234,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus since the end of February, and over 33,000 people have died.

As of June 5, there were nearly 37,000 active positive cases in the country, with fewer than 3,000 in Rome’s region of Lazio.

According to the John Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard, 395,703 people have died from the pandemic worldwide.

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