WASHINGTON (CNS) — Washington Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory announced in a Dec. 31, 2021, statement that he tested positive for COVID-19. He was asymptomatic at the time and remained so Jan. 3, according to the media relations director for the archdiocese.

“This morning, as part of my regular pandemic routine, I took a rapid antigen test given by a lab technician and I tested positive for COVID-19,” he said in his statement, adding that he is fully vaccinated and boosted “and overall I feel quite well.”

Following his doctor’s guidance, he said he would quarantine at home.


The cardinal said he would have to cancel his scheduled participation in liturgies in the archdiocese Jan. 1-2 and would work virtually as needed starting Jan. 4, but he would not be able to participate in the annual regional spiritual retreat with fellow bishops in early January.

“As the omicron variant of COVID sweeps through our area, I ask that you please continue to be extremely cautious: using appropriate face masks, getting vaccinated and boosted and following the guidance of our public health officials,” the cardinal said.

The cardinal, who is 74, joins more than 1,913,000 people who have contracted the coronavirus in Washington, Maryland and Virginia, according to The Washington Post, which also noted that Washington is currently one of the nation’s pandemic hot spots.

“We have learned in these past 21 months that we do better in this pandemic when we work together to care for one another,” the cardinal said in his statement.

“Despite the challenges we are facing, including our need for relief and healing from this pandemic, we must not lose hope or our commitment to continued safety precautions and kindness for our loved ones and neighbors,” he added.

Cardinal Gregory also said he prayed that the “peace of Christ be felt by each one of us as we look ahead with faith and hope to 2022.”