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Coronavirus

The Vatican Says Four Swiss Guards Have Tested Positive for the Coronavirus

October 12, 2020

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican says four Swiss Guards have tested positive for the coronavirus, as the surge in infections in surrounding Italy enters the Vatican walls.

The four are all symptomatic and are in isolation while their contacts are being traced, the Vatican said Monday. They join three other Vatican residents who tested positive in recent weeks plus the dozen or so Holy See officials who tested positive during the first wave of the outbreak.

Despite the positive cases among his own bodyguards, 83-year-old Pope Francis continued Monday to shun a mask. He was seen warmly greeting Cardinal George Pell in his private studio, and neither man wore a mask.

Francis decision to shun a mask during his Wednesday audience, held last week indoors, drew criticism on social media.

Italy is seeing a sharp surge in COVID-19 cases, with the Lazio region around the Vatican among the worst-hit in this second wave of the pandemic.

The Vatican last week amended its mask mandates to conform to that of Italy, requiring them indoors and out. The Vatican didn’t immediately respond when asked why Francis wasn’t wearing one to receive Pell.

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