ROME – Four members of the Vatican Swiss Guard, the elite and the colorfully clad corps that protects the Pope have tested positive for Covid-19, the Vatican said on Monday.
“They all have symptoms and are isolated,” the statement said. “We are in the process of checking who has been in direct contact with them.”
The results came over the weekend, adding to three other residents or citizens of the tiny Vatican city-state who, according to a statement, have tested positive in recent weeks.
They are believed to be the first in the corps to test positive.
Almost all the guards are single men who live in a barracks just outside the gates of the Vatican. The commanders and married members live in separate apartments. All members have Swiss citizenship.
The Vatican launched preventive measures last week mandating that everyone wear masks and practice social distancing, even when outdoors.
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However, some have found that Pope Francis does not wear a mask with his general audience and sometimes has relatively close contact with visitors who wear masks.
Some of his closest collaborators did not wear masks in the audience either.
Italy topped 5,000 new Covid-19 cases in a single day for the first time since March on Friday.
The county is slated to ban private parties and limit the number of guests at weddings and funerals under the new restrictions, which aim to curb a surge in coronavirus infections.