- Due to a Church of St. Francis Xavier staff member’s positive case of COVID-19, the Xavier Mission offices and programs will be closed until Monday, December 14th at the earliest.
- Our Food Pantry, scheduled for Saturday, December 12th will be CLOSED.
- Our Welcome Table soup kitchen, scheduled for Sunday, December 13th will be CLOSED.
Please see our full statement below.
December 8, 2020
Dear Xavier Mission Family and Friends,
If you are part of the larger Xavier community, you may have received information from the Church of St. Francis Xavier regarding a staff member who received a positive coronavirus test yesterday. In response, the Church and offices will close for no less than a week and all church staff will be tested and will quarantine until it is safe to reopen (please see below for the full statement from the church, which also applies to Xavier Mission).
As my office is located within the church offices, and I have had contact with the employee in question, I will also be quarantining as required. The Mission offices will be closed at least as long as the church offices are closed.
Out of an abundance of caution, and because of logistical issues due to the offices shutting down, we will be closing the Food Pantry this coming Saturday, December 12th and the Welcome Table Soup Kitchen, this coming Sunday, December 13th. We will attempt to re-schedule the pantry distribution for another day later this month, but we cannot make any guarantees at this time.
While this was a very difficult decision for us to make, the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and guests is our utmost priority, and we need to ensure that we do not unintentionally contribute to the spread of this virus, especially to our vulnerable guest population.
We understand that this kind of news can make people nervous. We ask you to remember the following important information regarding this positive case and the Mission:
- The person who tested positive is part of the church office staff. As such, no Mission volunteers or anyone at the Welcome Table this past Sunday would have come in contact with this person.
- Mission staff members, besides myself, have had no contact with this church employee in the past week.
- I myself was not on site this past weekend, and have had no contact with Mission staff, volunteers or anyone at the Welcome Table in the past week.
We hope that this information will set your mind at ease if you recently volunteered, and will reassure you that Xavier Mission is treating the COVID-19 pandemic with the utmost care and concern. We thank you for your patience and understanding, and for your support of Xavier Mission and our guests throughout this difficult year.
Be well and stay safe!
Cassandra Agredo, LMSW
Statement from the Church of St. Francis Xavier:
The health and safety of the parish staff and community at the Church of Saint Francis Xavier is our top priority. I am writing to inform you that a member of the parish staff self-reported a positive test result for COVID-19 on Monday, December 7, 2020. The last day of exposure at the parish was Monday, December 7, 2020. CDC advises that any symptoms of Coronavirus appear between 2 and 14 days from the date of exposure. We are handling this situation with the utmost seriousness. It is important to listen to facts and not respond to fear or rumor. We would encourage you to visit the CDC website www.CDC.Gov for additional factual information.
The NYS Department of Health has advised that those individuals who were in “close contact” with the infected person are required to quarantine. Individuals who were in close contact are persons who were within 6 feet of the infected individual for ten minutes or more, or those individuals who were within 6 feet of the infected individual for an aggregate of ten minutes or more over a 24 hour period. The parish will be contacting those individuals who have been identified as potentially being in close contact with the infected individual to alert them to the situation. The NYC Health Department will then contact these individuals to initiate contact tracing, if necessary.
The parish is following protocols from the CDC and NYS DOH and will clean and sanitize the church following CDC Guidelines using approved disinfectants.
Because we have followed all guidelines on social distancing and wearing personal protective items, the likelihood of anyone becoming infected from this positive case is low. However, out of an abundance of caution the church and parish office will be closed until Monday, December 14, 2020.
If you develop or have developed COVID-19 symptoms, you should call your medical professional or you can call the ArchCare COVID-19 Hotline at 1-877-239-1998. Archcare has allocated staff to handle inquiries and provide guidance to members of the Archdiocesan community, including clergy, religious, volunteers, lay personnel, students, and their families. The Archcare Intake Specialists will answer all questions or route you to someone who can address your concerns. Archcare can also provide you with information about obtaining a COVID-19 test to determine if you have been infected by the virus.
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) New York State Hotline
The New York State Department of Health has set up a hotline at (888) 364-3065 where Department of Health experts will be available to answer questions regarding COVID-19.
In addition, you can obtain additional information by visiting the New York City Department of Public Health website at https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-main.page
During times like this, the safety and well-being of our Catholic parish families, staff, and those in our care, as well as those in the broader community around us, are our primary concern.
December 8, 2020