By Dan Koob

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A well-known ministry that feeds the less fortunate in Philadelphia has closed two of its locations after staff members tested positive for COVID-19. Brian Jenkins won’t be going home anytime soon, however.

“I am under quarantine as well with the rest of my staff. I’m locked in my office on the upper floor and I have a nice little bed to stay in,” he said.

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The executive director of Chosen 300 Ministries has tested positive for COVID-19 along with two other volunteers. He’s asymptomatic.

But through contact tracing, they were able to figure out a volunteer who worked in their West Philly location as early as Nov. 23. was positive.

So now, Chosen 300 has had to make the difficult decision to close its doors for over a week, instead of continuing to feed the less fortunate.

“We basically just wanted to give the building [a chance] to breathe. To make sure that anyone who may have been infected or may have been in contact with someone who was infected is not coming back to volunteer,” Jenkins said.

Its West Philly and Center City locations will close until Dec. 14 and the ministry has an online listing of other places you can get a meal if you need one.

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Jenkins says it’s the first time in 25 years he’s had to shut the doors, but he argues safety is the most important thing. He says just this week, his ministry lost a member to the virus.

“It’s a very serious disease and people are dying,” Jenkins said. “I got a hate email last night saying why are you closing down? You’re not considering the poor. We are doing exactly just that.”


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