'I want to be an advocate': Chicago bishop contracts COVID-19 after family visits from Florida

Bishop Larry Trotter highlighted the importance of getting tested and practicing virus safety measures
CHICAGO (WLS) -- A local bishop is sharing his experience when it comes to protecting yourself from the coronavirus, especially when your guard is down around your family.

Bishop Larry Trotter, senior pastor of the Sweet Holy Spirit Church in the South Chicago neighborhood, recently tested positive for COVID-19. He believes he may have gotten it from a relative visiting from Florida.

Trotter said although his symptoms are mild, doctors warn him it could get worse.

"It's not a hoax, people are dying every day and people are being infected every day," he said.

Trotter informed his congregation of his positive test via Zoom Monday night.

He said his niece, along with several other relatives visiting from Florida, were at his home in the last seven days. Florida is one of the states who has recently seen a spike in COVID cases and it listed on Chicago's mandatory quarantine order.

"One of my nieces tested positive last week and I was having a bad cough, so I thought I should go get tested," he said. "I'm thinking I was probably more relaxed because I was at home. Whenever you're at home, you don't think about keeping your mask the whole time."

The 62-year-old is a prostate cancer survivor, and said he takes antibiotics and quarantines in his home.

As a prominent figure in Chicago who has served three decades at his church, he is highlighting the importance of getting tested and practicing virus safety measures.

"I want to encourage people that it's God's will for them to be healthy but they've got to abide by the rules," he said.

At one point, Trotter says he was running a 100 degree temperature and doctors told him to go to the hospital if his fever comes back.

"I would certainly ask the people to pray for me, I'm going to pray for them [and] I'm want to be an advocate for people practicing safe guidelines until this pandemic is over," he said.

Bishop Trotter has been holding virtual services for months and is doing his best to stay vigilant. He says he wears a mask when outside and practices social distancing whenever he can.

Meanwhile, Chicago's second most senior member of city council, Alderman Carrie Austin, revealed she has also tested positive for COVID-19 in the last month.

Trotter pointed out that the virus can reach anyone no matter who you are.
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