Episcopal Bishop Robert Wright tests positive for COVID-19

Bishop Robert Wright of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, shown at an Inauguration Day prayer service in 2019. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
Bishop Robert Wright of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, shown at an Inauguration Day prayer service in 2019. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

The Right Rev. Robert C. Wright said in a social media post that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is recovering at his Cobb County home.

Wright is the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, which covers 117 worshipping communities, including parishes, schools, and direct service ministries, in more than 75 counties in Middle and North Georgia. He said his work output is low, but he has managed to accomplish some diocesan-related tasks online.

“Friends, wanted you to know I have tested positive for COVID-19,” he wrote. “By the grace of God and the expertise of the medical community, I expect to return to health in the upcoming days. I ask for your prayers.”

He is quarantining in his bedroom, and his wife and children are helping him with medicine and food. He said his family has tested negative and they wear masks and gloves.

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Wright, 56, has been a big proponent of social distancing and taking other precautions such as wearing a mask. Last year as the number of people affected by the pandemic grew in Georgia, Wright instructed churches in the diocese not to hold in-person services. Restrictions were later eased.

Outdoor socially distanced worship gatherings are currently permitted. Participants must register ahead of time in case contact tracing is needed. Everyone is instructed to leave immediately after the service to reduce the chances of transmission.

There are no indoor services or other gatherings at this time.

Wright received the results from a drive-thru testing site on Sunday morning.

“I got the test because I was having symptoms, fever, body aches, chills,” he said in an email.

Wright said his temperature stays between 98 degrees and 101 degrees and he still has some body aches, headaches “and I frequently have chills. Basically, my energy it’s cut more than in half.”

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He said he believes his daughter contracted the virus before leaving for college.

“She has since tested positive and has just finished her quarantine at school,” he wrote.

“We have been so very careful for months,” he said. “The fact that I have tested positive I hope will encourage others to take this virus” very seriously. “We are literally the keepers of one another’s well being. I am very fortunate, I am in good health and have great health care. I have all the support I need. But there are others who have many more complications.”

He said his energy level is low, but he expects to resume a more normal schedule in the next few days.

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