SALT LAKE CITY — A young man in Mexico has become the first missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to test positive for COVID-19. The confirmed case comes as the church continues to send non-native missionaries back to their home countries to quarantine for 14 days.
Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff said the missionary is from Guatemala and currently serving in Mexico City. He has received treatment for mild symptoms from the virus and is being isolated away from others, along with his current companion.
Woodruff explained that notification is being made to all those with whom the missionary had recent contact with, in accordance with established guidelines from public health agencies. That includes a previous companion who returned to California two days ago and is in self-isolation at home.
Right now, the American missionary is not showing any symptoms. Medical professionals are working with him and his family to ensure they take all necessary precautions during the next few weeks.
The Church is continuing to reinforce established self-isolation procedures for missionaries who are traveling, at home and in the field. “We are monitoring rapidly changing world conditions and are making adjustments as warranted,” said Woodruff. “We take very seriously the health and safety of missionaries and the well-being of those around them.”
On Thursday, Church President Russell M. Nelson invited the world to join him on Sunday for a day of fasting and prayer for relief from the novel coronavirus. The short video message was sent to members of the faith around the world.
President Nelson expressed admiration for medical professionals and scientists that are trying to curb the spread of COVID-19. He said he was a man of faith and knew that during challenging times, people can be strengthened and lifted as they call upon God and His son, Jesus Christ.