The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Latter-day Saint apostle Elder Gong completes COVID-19 quarantine

By Ryan Miller, | Posted - Oct. 16, 2020 at 2:02 p.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — Elder Gerrit W. Gong announced Friday that he and his wife Susan have successfully completed their quarantines following positive COVID-19 tests.

Elder Gong, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, shared on social media that he would be returning to his church responsibilities beginning next week.

"We are very moved and grateful for the many well-wishes and prayers we have received from you from around the world," Elder Gong shared. "Thank you for your faith on our behalf. Our doctors indicate we have now both successfully completed our quarantines. With continued precautions, for example, wearing a mask, frequent handwashing, and social distancing, I look forward to returning to my full responsibilities next week. We are most grateful to you and look forward to being with you again soon."

Elder Gong, who is 66, had been exposed to the virus leading up to October's general conference. Out of precaution, he did not attend the conference and pre-recorded his talk — "All Nations, Kindreds and Tongues" — that was shown during the Saturday afternoon session.

On Oct. 6, the church announced that the Gongs had tested positive for COVID-19. Both Elder and Susan Gong only displayed mild symptoms of the virus.

Following Elder Gong's positive test, all other members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles were tested for the virus. All those tests came back negative.

Many of the faith's highest-ranking leaders, including President Russell M. Nelson who is 96, are in their 70s, 80s and even 90s — ages considered high-risk for the disease.

"Church leaders will continue to exercise caution and follow all health guidelines related to COVID-19 and encourage our members to do the same," church spokesman Eric Hawkins said after the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles were tested.

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