Papal audiences return to streaming after COVID case

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Pope Francis’ weekly general audiences, which had resumed with the public participating, will be moved back indoors and held virtually after one participant tested positive for the coronavirus, the Vatican said.

A statement said the audiences will be held from the pope’s official private library, as they were during the height of the lockdown in Italy earlier this year.

In recent weeks, the public was allowed to return to the audiences, held first in a Vatican courtyard and then in a Vatican auditorium. But a participant at the Oct. 21 audience tested positive for the virus, the statement said, prompting the change.

A handout picture provided by the Vatican Media shows Pope Francis attending the general audience in the Paul VI hall, Vatican City, 28 October 2020. EPA-EFE/VATICAN MEDIA

As of next Wednesday, Nov. 4, the audiences will go back to being held in the library in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace without public participation “in order to avoid any eventual future risk to the health of the participants.”

The Vatican’s decision coincides with a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in Italy. Recently, 13 Swiss Guards and one person who lives in the residence that houses the pope tested positive for the coronavirus.

Read more via Vatican News

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