An Italian Holy See employee who lives in the same residence as Pope Francis is said to have tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and was hospitalized.
Several Italian newspapers with reputable sources in the Vatican said the priest had lived in the Saint Martha guest house for years.
Pope Francis has remained largely withdrawn from his residence since his cold at the end of last month.
The 83-year-old Pope has a small apartment in the building and takes his meals there.
He also has private meetings there and occasionally moves to the Vatican Library to record livestream messages to the 1.3 billion Catholics in the world.
The La Stampa and Il Messagro newspapers said the nameless person had been hospitalized in Rome and steps had been taken to disinfect the building.
La Stampa also reported that, as a precaution, Pope Francis "has been eating alone in his room for some time".
"He spends much of his time in his apartment, and when he moves to the residence he keeps the necessary safety distances," wrote La Stampa.
The Vatican spokesman, Matteo Bruni, told AFP that he could neither confirm nor reject the reports.
The official website of the Vatican News says the number of people infected in the city-state has increased to four.
This includes a person who tested positive for the first time on March 6.
"The new cases include one employee from the merchandise office and two employees from the Vatican Museums," says the official news site.
The Pope, born in Argentina, lived a healthy life despite losing part of his lungs as a young man and suffered from sciatica – a nervous condition that causes hip pain.