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Latter-day Saint apostle, wife test positive for COVID-19

Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Ruth L. Renlund, stand together and speak at a BYU-Idaho campus devotional on Sept. 26, 2017.
Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Ruth L. Renlund, stand together and speak at a BYU-Idaho campus devotional on Sept. 26, 2017.
Ericka Sanders, BYU-Idaho

Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Ruth L. Renlund, have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a news release issued Saturday by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Their condition is being carefully monitored, but gratefully, Elder Renlund currently has just mild symptoms and Sister Renlund is asymptomatic,” the release stated.

The release said the Renlunds have followed recommended public health practices.

Elder Renlund, 68, is the second apostle to contract COVID-19. Elder Gerrit W. Gong and Sister Susan Gong tested positive in early October. Both experienced mild symptoms. The Gongs recovered fully and he presided over the Taylorsville Utah Temple groundbreaking ceremony on Oct. 31.

The First Presidency and the rest of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, including Elder Renlund, tested negative on Oct. 8 after learning about the Gongs’ exposure to the coronavirus and positive test results.

The positive tests for the Renlunds have prompted renewed tests for other church leaders, because of this potential exposure, the release stated.

“The church is following all appropriate health protocols for contact tracing and will continue to follow health guidelines for this virus to protect church leaders and the community,” the news release said. “We continue to encourage all to take steps to protect themselves and one another during this pandemic, including wearing masks, frequently washing hands and social distancing.”

Sister Ruth L. Renlund and Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speak to youth living in Africa during a Face to Face broadcast on Aug. 5, 2017.
Sister Ruth L. Renlund and Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speak to youth living in Africa during a Face to Face broadcast on Aug. 5, 2017.
IRI

Elder Renlund, who turned 68 last month, was a cardiologist who specialized in heart transplants before joining full-time church service in 2009, when he was called to be a General Authority Seventy.

The Renlunds then moved to South Africa, where Elder Renlund served in the Africa Southeast Area presidency until 2014.

Elder Renlund was sustained by the church as an apostle on Oct. 3, 2015. He was one of three apostles announced that day, along with Elder Ronald A. Rasband and Elder Gary E. Stevenson. It marked the first time in 109 years that three apostles were announced on the same day.