Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Parish, Green Valley’s largest church, is closed through Nov. 9 after a priest and deacon who presided at several recent Masses tested positive for COVID-19.
A notice on the church’s website from the Rev. Francisco Maldonado said he and Deacon Joseph Roinick tested positive Thursday for the virus, are quarantining and will not return until they test negative.
Maldonado said he and Roinick presided over Masses Oct. 23, 24, 25 and 26, during which they distributed communion “following protocols for distributing communion including wearing a mask and disinfecting our hands.”
An off-site receptionist who answered the phone for the church Saturday morning took a message from a reporter but no callback was immediately received.
There was no indication in the online posting whether Maldonado and Roinick were experiencing symptoms, had sought treatment or when or where they may have contracted the virus.
The church, home to Green Valley’s largest congregation, said it has been vigilant in having parishioners and visitors wear masks, disinfect hands and observe social distancing.
“I am hopeful that by following these protocols has prevented the spread of transmission from one to another,” Maldonado wrote. “However, as a precaution, if anybody who attended any of these Masses is symptomatic, I urge you to get tested and self-quarantine until you receive your results.”
Daily and weekend Masses have been canceled and parishioners were told to check online for announcements about live streaming of services. Maldonado also said he would be in contact with the Pima County Health Department and that they will be disinfecting the church and facilities.