COVID-19 case confirmed in pope’s Vatican residence

A priest is silhouetted along Via della Conciliazione street, near to the Vatican City, at the first weekly general audience led by Pope Francis, open to the public for first time since the global outbreak of the new coronavirus disease in Rome, Italy, Sept. 2. (Photo by Remo Casilli/Reuters via

A man living in the same Vatican residence as Pope Francis has tested positive for COVID-19 and gone into isolation, the Vatican said on Oct. 17.

The man, who was not identified and did not have symptoms of the illness, left the Santa Marta residence and went into isolation along with others with whom he had had direct contact, a statement said.

Someone else living in the residence — which has about 130 rooms and suites — tested positive for the coronavirus when the pandemic hit Italy in March.

Pope Francis, who had part of one lung removed during an illness when he was a young man in his native Argentina, is tested regularly for COVID-19.

He had a normal schedule on Oct. 17, receiving three people in separate private audiences and addressing a large group of Italian police.

The Vatican, a tiny city-state surrounded by Rome, has been only lightly affected by the coronavirus, with about two dozen confirmed cases in total.

Three Vatican residents who tested positive recently have recovered, the Oct. 17 statement added.

Four members of the Swiss Guard, the elite and colorfully dressed corps that protects the pope, tested positive for COVID-19 last week.