A church which had to close because a member of its congregation tested positive for coronavirus said he had no symptoms when he attended worship.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Newcastle will shut until the end of March but is not believed to be where the man contracted the virus.
Public Health England (PHE) has spoken to those he come into contact with.
“Had he not come to church, he would have gone somewhere else,” the church’s representative Scott Spencer said.
He said the initial reaction was that it was “going to reflect terribly on the church”.
“But he could have gone to the Metro Centre, he could have gone to a Newcastle match,” he said.
Mr Spencer said the church, in Fawdon, was aware it would be scrutinised by people keen to know if they are at risk.
“Our obligation is just to react responsibly and take the necessary precautions,” he said.
“We are mindful of the individual who is currently affected by this virus and are providing whatever support we can to them and their family.
“The members of our church have expressed their love and concern for them and we are praying for their welfare and swift recovery.”
Source: BBC News