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New Orleans Archbishop recovers from COVID-19, flies over city to give Good Friday blessing

Archbishop Gregory Aymond and rabbi Lexi Erheim flew over the city in a WWII-era plane Friday to give a Good Friday and Passover blessing.

NEW ORLEANS — After announcing he had contracted COVID-19 last month, Archbishop Gregory Aymond has recovered from the coronavirus, and just in time for Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  

And the 70-year-old came out of quarantine with a bang. 

According to NOLA.com, Aymond took to the skies to give his Good Friday blessing to New Orleans, flying over the city in a World War II-era plane at 10 a.m. to do so. 

He was followed by Rabbi Lexu Erdheim of the Gates of Prayer synagogue in Metairie, who then gave the citywide Passover blessing.

The "spirit flights" were a way for the religious leaders to bless the entire city during this difficult time while also practicing social distancing. Officials said the historic plane, a 1943 Boeing PT-17 Stearman, was thoroughly disinfected between rides.

RELATED: Archdiocese list of virtual Easter Mass, Good Friday services

Aymond's recovery comes more than two weeks after he first announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 on March 23, a day after serving mass at an empty St. Louis Cathedral. 

Aymond said he had felt "fine," but had mild symptoms like a fever. 

As of Good Friday morning, there were more than 2,000 Louisianians in the hospital battling COVID-19 and more than 700 dead from the virus across the state. 

The number of available ventilators in Louisiana has improved for three days in a row, and Governor John Bel Edwards says the state is no longer in imminent danger of running out of the life-saving machines.

RELATED: Churches getting creative to hold Easter mass while social distancing

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