L.D.S. missionaries test positive for COVID-19
Two missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (L.D.S.) have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The announcement of the infection of the two missionaries was made by officials on the church’s official website who indicated that one is a female missionary service in Australia and the other a Guatemalan serving in Mexico City.
LDS spokesman Daniel Woodruff said the missionary in Australia has been in self-isolation at home.
“The church is working with her to make sure she receives appropriate care and notifying anyone with whom she may have come in contact,” he said.
“As we move forward, the church will not provide public details about each individual case of COVID-19, but instead will rely on public health agencies and individuals to make the required notifications.
“We continue to pray for all people affected by this pandemic, and we plead with the Lord to provide relief and peace at this uncertain time.”
The church had 67,000 missionaries serving worldwide prior to the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Since then, it has sent tens of thousands back to their home countries and released many from service early and were all instructed to self-isolate at home. Those not released from service are being reassigned to missions in their home countries when they finish their isolation.
The LDS National Communication Director in Samoa, Leiataua Letaua Price Sa’u, told Samoa Observer that some of Samoan missionaries returned home in past weeks.
The church’s Missionary Department’s Managing Director, David N. Weidman, said the returning home of non-native missionaries to home countries – for self-isolation and either reassignment or release due to adjusted tenure lengths or health concerns – is affecting about 50 per cent of the church’s missionaries.
He added that he has been amazed at how awesome their missionaries are on the constant and ongoing global movement of missionaries that started in Asia last month.
“They continue to be focused and committed. When they come home, they stay strong during their time at home.”