Two Roman Convents Isolated As 59 Religious Sisters Test Positive for Coronavirus

Two convents, one in Rome and one in a town nearby the capital city, have been isolated as the majority of religious sisters in the communities tested positive for COVID-19.

According to Italian news agency ANSA, 59 sisters have tested positive for coronavirus between the two communities and are being isolated within their convents.

In Grottaferrata, a town on the outskirts of the metropolitan area of Rome, the religious community of the Daughters of San Camillo have had 40 sisters test positive for COVID-19, one of whom has been hospitalized. There are around 50 sisters living at the convent.

The Angelic Sisters of Saint Paul, which has a convent in Rome, had 19 sisters out of 21 test positive for the coronavirus.


On their property, the sisters run a kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school; however, classes had been canceled several weeks before the sisters' positive coronavirus tests.

“We are also wondering what to do, we are also trying to understand the situation,” a sister of the Daughters of San Camillo told ANSA March 20.

“But we are fine, we hope to provide communications when the situation will be clearer.”

Bishop Derio Olivero of the Diocese of Pinerolo recently tested positive for COVID-19.

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The bishop, age 59, was admitted to the hospital March 19. He is the second Italian bishop known to have had coronavirus.

Bishop Antonio Napolioni of Cremona was hospitalized in early March for COVID-19, but was released early this week to finish recovering under home quarantine.

As of March 19, the Italian dioceses around Milan had reported the deaths of 30 priests during the coronavirus outbreak, with at least 28 due to COVID-19.

Hannah Brockhaus is Catholic News Agency's senior Rome correspondent. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has a degree in English from Truman State University in Missouri.