By JD Flynn, CNA, March 15, 2020
– A priest in the Diocese of Yakima, Washington, is the first U.S. priest known to be diagnosed with COVID-19, the coronavirus that has become a global pandemic.
Fr. Alejandro Trejo, pastor of Our Lady of the Desert parish in Mattawa, was struck with a high fever March 1, and began on that date to self-quarantine. On March 7 he was admitted to a hospital with the symptoms of pneumonia. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 this weekend.
“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,” Bishop Joseph Tyson said in a diocesan statement March 15.
“We also are very thankful for the work of the Grant County Health District,” he said. The diocese has worked closely with the district to identify those with whom the priest has been in close contact for the past month. Two tests earlier this week were inconclusive. A third test requested by the district was positive, the Diocese learned late last night,” he added.
In February, the priest made an eight-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land, returning Feb. 18 to the U.S. Those who were on the pilgrimage have been contacted by public health officials. ….