Franciscan friar and deacon dies from COVID-19, DC’s first known fatality


WASHINGTON (WMBD) — A Franciscan friar died after battling COVID-19 for a week.

According to the Catholic News Agency, 59-year-old John-Sebastian Laird-Hammond is the first known person to die from the virus in the District of Columbia. He was hospitalized with the virus last week and died Friday.

CNA said he was a permanent deacon and a residence at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America from the 1980s until September 2019. Father Larry Dunham said Laird-Hammond was not in residence at the monastery at the time he caught the virus.

Dunham said Laird-Hammond also suffered from leukemia.

MinonkTalk reporting Laird-Hammond was a former 1979 MDR graduate of Minonk.

Washington D.C. had 72 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of March 20. The total number of confirmed cases of the COVID-19 worldwide is now more than 300,000.

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