A convent of Franciscan sisters in the north of Germany has been hit hard with the coronavirus, with 76 of its members testing positive for COVID-19.
So far, the cases at the convent of the Sisters of Saint Francis of the Martyr St. George in Thuine have been mild, said Sr. Maria Cordis Reiker, superior general. Thuine is between Bremen and the border with the Netherlands. Eighty-five sisters have tested negative for the virus.
“Nobody has had to go to the hospital, and we are grateful for that,” Sr. Maria Cordis told the German news agency DW.
The community of nuns, which was established in Thuine in 1869, runs several day schools and a boarding school for boys.
The local health department ordered the convent to be quarantined.
“How things will continue with the [schools] is still in flux,” Sr. Maria Cordis said, adding that the necessary steps would be discussed with the health department.
Sr. Maria Cordis told AP that the community is waiting for the test results of the 160 lay employees of the monastery, including nurses working at the monastery’s home for the elderly, and others working at the monastery’s kitchen and wash house.
The Sisters of Saint Francis of the Martyr St. George also are present in the United States, the Netherlands, Japan, Indonesia, Brazil, East Timor, Albania, Italy and Cuba. It maintains hospitals, institutions for the disabled, nursing and old people’s homes as well as schools.
The American Province is based in Alton, Illinois.