Pope's elite security team reports COVID-19 cases
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Four members of the Swiss Guard, the Pope's elite security team, have contracted COVID-19, the Vatican said on Monday.

They are believed to be first cases among the colorfully clothed security force and they come after three other people in the tiny city-state of 825 had tested positive.

Members of the guard are mostly single men who reside in barracks within the Vatican. Those who have tested positive are experiencing symptoms and are in isolation, according to the statement released by the Vatican. Last week the Vatican instituted COVID-19 safety measures including requiring masks to be worn at all times outdoors and practicing social distancing.

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Some have criticized Pope FrancisPope FrancisPope Francis gets COVID-19 vaccine Pope says the 'movement' of violence at the Capitol must be condemned Feehery: The great schism MORE for not wearing a mask during his services and being in close contact with visitors who often lower their masks in order for him to hear their words. Members of the Pope's security have not intervened in these instances.

On top of his advanced age, the 83-year-old Pope Francis is also at a high risk of experiencing severe coronavirus symptoms due to having part of one of his lungs removed as a young man in Argentina.

Italy, where the Vatican is located, was one of the first COVID-19 hot spots with more than 36,000 deaths since the beginning of the year. On Friday Italy reported more than 5,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day, the first time since March.