Diocese notifies Dixon parishioners of possible COVID-19 exposure

SACRAMENTO—The Diocese of Sacramento has learned that a priest at St. Peter’s Parish in Dixon has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Father Hector Montoya, pastor of St. Peter’s, celebrated public Mass throughout last week.

We promptly notified the Solano County Public Health Department and will work with officials to notify members of the parish as well as the wider community of Dixon.

We stand ready to assist health officials in implementing any measures that may mitigate the impact of this potential exposure. We have notified members of St. Peter’s Parish and suggested they may wish to contact their health care providers regarding testing, self-quarantine, or other actions.

We continue to investigate this matter in hopes of understanding the extent of the exposure risk. We have been informed that key elements of the safety directions set forth for public celebrations of Mass were not in place at this parish. In particular, we are told the priest and deacons did not wear face masks during Communion, as is required for the safety of parishioners.

We are deeply concerned by this news and extremely disappointed that some of the required precautions appear not to have been followed. Our focus at this time is on notifying parishioners and the community, but we will continue to investigate this matter and take any remedial actions required.

We pray for the recovery of Father Montoya and all who are sick, and we pray for the health and safety of our parishioners, their families and our communities.

There will be no public Masses at St. Peter’s Parish until further notice. The church will be thoroughly sanitized, and we will continue researching every available method to get this important information to all who may need it. Public Masses at this parish will resume only when we are entirely sure they can do so in a way that truly safeguards the health of attendees and the community.