Mattawa priest hospitalized at Kadlec for COVID-19

Diocese of Yakima
Courtesy: Diocese of Yakima

UPDATE (2:20 p.m.) — The Grant County Health District said the man hospitalized had foreign travel prior to his illness. They said the man in his 40s has not been linked to other cases.

YAKIMA, Wash. – Rev. Alejandro “Alex” Trejo, pastor of Our Lady of the Desert Parish in Mattawa has tested positive for COVID-19.

Trejo has been hospitalized at Kadlec Medical Center in Richland since March 1. He’s being treated for pneumonia caused by the virus, a press release said. It’s unknown how he became infected.

“Father Alex continues to recover well and we are appreciative of the prayers of many, many parishioners, and the excellent care of the hospital staff,” said Most Rev. Joseph J. Tyson. “We also are very thankful for the work of the Grant County Health District.”

They said that the diocese is working closely with the district to see who the priest has been in close contact with for the past month. Two tests earlier this week were inconclusive. A third test requested by the Grant County Health District came back positive on Saturday night.

“Out of an abundance of caution the Health District and Diocese began reaching out this past Wednesday to those possibly affected, asking them to self-monitor and to be in contact with health care providers if they experienced any symptoms,” the press release said. “Those efforts will now intensify.”

The parish facilities have undergone a deep cleaning this past week. All masses have been suspended due to Gov. Inslee’s ban on large gatherings.