Leaders of the Unitarian Church of Evanston say they’ve closed the church building at 1330 Ridge Ave. for at least a week after learning that a member of the congregation has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The member, whose home town was not identified, is said by the church leaders to be “in the hospital and receiving good care and expected to fully recover.”

Update 2:38 p.m.: Interim City Manager Erika Storlie says no Evanston residents have been confirmed to be suffering from the COVID-19 virus at this time, suggesting the hospitalized church member does not live in Evanston.

The church member is said to have been in the church building on Sunday, March 1, but did not show any symptoms, but after starting to show symptoms on March 4 attended a meeting with five other people that evening. 

Those people have been contacted, are self-quarantined and have not shown any symptoms, the church says, and the patient’s spouse has tested negative for the virus and is in quarantine for 14 days.

The message on the church website indicates the congregation is planning to have an online worship service this Sunday using the webinar service Zoom and that the church staff is conducting a thorough cleaning of the church building.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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