28 December 2021
Christmas greetings! I hops this email finds you well.
I am writing to let you know that I have tested positive for Covid-19. Yesterday I informed the Churchwardens and our fellow Ministers that I had tested positive that day for Covid-19 on a lateral flow test. Unfortunately this result has now been confirmed by a PCR test and so there’s a need to pass that information on to our wider community.
At present none of the other members of the family are testing positive and I feel fine. I’ve got a bit of a cold, a hoarse throat and I feel a bit run-down, but nothing too serious.
The reason I think it’s important to let everyone know is because the truth is that there is no way of really knowing at what point I became infected or, indeed, if I was infectious at some point over the Christmas period. From the 22nd onwards, I was involved in activities and services and ministry every day. Obviously I was presiding at the Eucharist on multiple occasions and distributing wafers (albeit masked and gloved) at services on the 24th and 25th and 26th. I also then took part in a family event in the afternoon of Boxing Day.
I was conducting daily Lateral Flow Device tests throughout and they all came back negative until the one I did yesterday (the 27th).
I think the likely culprit for my own infection is probably either the Christingle making on the 23rd or the family get-together on the 26th. Both were longer periods of time spent together with a number of adults and children.
As much as I think it’s important to be honest about it and let you know, I also want to reassure those of you who may be feeling anxious about having received Holy Communion at some point over Christmas. Any contact I have with people at Holy Communion is fleeting at best and we are taking all available precautions with gloves, masks, hand-gel etc. Given the precautions, it’s unlikely that anyone was close enough to me for a long enough period of time to catch Coronavirus from me.
But by sending this email today, I am hoping to achieve three things
- Firstly, to make sure you’re aware so that you can be vigilant for your own health. I am sure you are doing this anyway but be on your guard for symptoms, and use Lateral Flow Devices;
- To reassure anyone who may be anxious that the chances of an infection from me at Holy Communion are low. The amount of time spent near to me, and the precautions we are taking, make that unlikely.
- To be clear about what happens for church in coming days.
There is quite a bit of confusion about how long I need to isolate for and to what extent congregations need to know. I don’t expect to hear from Track & Trace, given the volume of positive tests in the country at present and my previous experience of their levels of efficiency during less busy times. By the time we hear from them, it will probably be too late to be useful.
The long and short of it, however, is that I am on annual leave now anyway and by the time I am due to be leading services in church, my isolation period will be over. The plan to host the Joint Benefice service at St Mary’s in West Malling on Sunday the 2nd of January at 10 o’clock is unaffected.
If you have any concerns or queries, feel free to ask. Please do pray for me that this doesn’t become anything more serious, and please do look after yourself. Clearly there is a lot of it about!
Yours in Christ
Rev David Green
Incumbent, West Malling and Offham