November 6, 2020
Dear St. Gerard Majella Parish Community,
I was notified today that Father Huber has tested positive for COVID-19. He has been quarantined since he began developing symptoms, and will continue to remain in quarantine until he is cleared according to the specific guidelines provided by the health department and CDC.
I have not yet received the results of my COVID-19 test, but I am assuming I am positive due to my exposure and symptoms I am experiencing. I am also continuing to quarantine until I am cleared by the health department.
Additionally, I have been notified that a couple with whom Father Huber met last weekend, and who are parishioners of SGM, tested positive for COVID-19. These two individuals were at 6:30 a.m. Mass on Wednesday, November 4, before experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. They wore masks and remained socially distanced from all others throughout the Mass. They are not determined to have been in close contact with anyone else at the parish, and they will continue to quarantine until cleared by the health department.
As mentioned in the previous letter sent this week, both Father Huber and I celebrated Masses over the days before the onset of our symptoms. This includes Masses I celebrated with our 3rd and 5th graders earlier this week. As with all of our Masses at St. Gerard Majella, we maintained at least 6 feet of distance from others with the exception of the moment of distributing Holy Communion. We wore masks when distributing Holy Communion, and sanitized our hands immediately before distributing. Due to the protective measures in place, we do not believe that there is cause for concern for anyone who attended any of these Masses. However, if you did attend any of these Masses, please monitor yourselves and your families for any symptoms of COVID-19. If you begin feeling symptoms, please contact your doctor. If your doctor recommends that you receive a COVID-19 test, contact your local health department, and please let me know so that our parish can take the necessary precautions.
We are grateful to Father Bryon for his generosity in celebrating the 6:30 a.m. Masses yesterday and today. Unfortunately, all other Masses and confessions at St. Gerard remain cancelled until further notice. Our rectory and parish office are also closed at this time. Parish staff will be checking their email and voicemail remotely, but please be patient as you await a reply. Other parish events may continue so long as they do not include Father Huber and me or those with whom we have been in close contact.
All those with whom Father Huber and I believe we have been in close contact have already been notified separately. The St. Louis County Health Department will be following up directly via contact tracing with those whom they confirm are close contacts, and will be providing further direction.
I will share any additional important updates regarding this situation with all of you. Our parish and school continue to follow the guidelines and directives of the St. Louis County Health Department in all parish and school activities—and your health and safety remains the highest priority. Please let me know if you have questions, or if I can be of further assistance to you.
A copy of this notification is being provided to the school community as well. Please keep our St. Gerard Majella family in your prayers, and Father Huber and I will continue to pray for all of you.
Father David Skillman
Pastor, St. Gerard Majella Parish