SAN ANTONIO — An employee at a northwest-side Catholic church has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to officials with the Archdiocese of San Antonio. 

In a social media message, Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller said they were notified of the positive case on Friday, and staff at St. Luke Church are already working to communicate the development with parishioners. Catholic churches across the Alamo City have largely ceased daily operations due to COVID-19, with most events cancelled and schools closed for the time being. 

In the meantime, various San Antonio churches and places of worship have taken to livestreaming their services. Garcia-Siller urged parishes within the archdiocese to continue doing that for Easter Weekend, scheduled for the second weekend in April, while limiting any and all in-person congregations to no more than 10 people. That's per the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, as well as government officials. 

"These difficult decisions are motivated by concerns for our parish communities and recognizing the importance of social distancing in containing the spread of COVID-19," Garcia-Siller said in his video message. 

Additionally, the archbishop gave some further recommendations for other services. For funerals, he said families should consider brief committal services with a small pool of participants before holding a full mass service later on. And, baptisms can still occur, he said, so long as they adhere to the requisite number of people. 

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