VATICAN CITY (NewsNation Now) — At least seven of the Vatican Swiss Guards have tested positive for coronavirus. The total number of guards who’ve tested positive is now 11 — that’s 10 percent of its staff.
The Vatican said all who have tested positive have mild symptoms and are isolated.
The elite and colorfully dressed corps protect the pope. Contact tracing is underway for those who have been in direct contact with the pope.
Now, all guards, whether on duty or not, are required to wear masks both indoors and outdoors.
Last week the Vatican mandated that everyone had to wear masks, even outdoors, and practice social distancing.
However, Pope Francis does not wear a mask at his general audiences. Some of his closest aides also have not been wearing masks at the audiences.
The pope had part of one lung removed during an illness when he was a young man in his native Argentina.
He sometimes breathes heavily after climbing steps and some Vatican officials have speculated that difficulty breathing may be a reason he does not wear a mask in large spaces.
He has, however, worn masks in cars taking him to venues.
Reuters contributed to this report.