COVID-19 outbreak hits Latter-day Saint Missionary Training Center in Provo

New protocols are being installed at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, after a new outbreak of COVID-19 among missionaries there, a Jesus Church spokesperson said Thursday. -Christ of the Latter Day Saints.

More than 15% of missionaries at the center have tested positive this week, according to a statement provided by Sam Penrod.

“Since Provo Missionary Training Center resumed in-person training in June, COVID precautions and protocols have helped keep COVID cases to a minimum,” the church spokesperson said. “These precautions include requiring all missionaries to be fully immunized before arrival and making testing available for those training in MTC. However, after several missionaries tested positive earlier this week, all 588 Provo MTC missionaries have been tested and a total of 91 have tested positive.

“Of the missionaries who tested positive, few reported having symptoms or feeling unwell. The Provo MTC continues to operate at reduced capacity and therefore there are many facilities to isolate those who test negative and quarantine those who test positive,” he added.

The outbreak coincides with a nationwide increase in COVID-19 cases, most of them caused by the Omicron variant. Nationally, the number of cases jumped 60% this week, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday, according to the wall street journal.

While Omicron cases tend to be milder than beta or delta cases of COVID-19, persistent symptoms known as long-haul COVID still occur in 10% to 30% of cases, said Dr. Anthony Fauci this week, according to NY1.

The church’s missionary department has installed additional protocols for the cafeteria and gymnasium at MTC, Penrod said. Other precautions remain in place.

“Face coverings will be worn indoors during all classes, meetings and devotions,” he said. “Missionaries will not travel to their assigned missions unless they test negative for COVID or have completed all necessary quarantine periods. New arriving missionaries will be required to have a negative COVID test when they report on Wednesday. »

Fully immunized missionaries called to serve in English began returning to MTC Provo on June 23, ending a 14-month hiatus. The church had closed all 10 MTCs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and missionaries had trained only online from home.

Provo MTC added Spanish-learning missionaries in August. It expanded to teaching 16 languages ​​in October.

Most new missionaries still complete the first third of their online training at home before traveling to one of the church’s 10 MTCs around the world to complete the rest.

All of these MTCs are now open except for the one in New Zealand, which had suspended operations due to local pandemic guidelines.

All MTCs had followed local guidelines. All missionaries must be vaccinated to serve in a foreign country. Other TCM precautions include masking.

Missionaries from both missions and the Missionary Training Center in Bogota, Colombia listen to Elder Neil L. Andersen Nov. 17, 2021.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

For example, missionaries continue to wear masks at gatherings like Christmas morning at the MTC in Provo and another at the church’s MTC in Bogotá, Colombia last month.

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