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Lane County Announces Interfaith Service As Point Of Possible COVID-19 Exposure

Tiffany Eckert

Lane County Public Health announced  they believe some unidentified community members may have been in close contact with a person with severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, also known as COVID-19. The exposure point has been identified to have taken place March 11 during an Interfaith Prayer Service at First Christian Church in downtown Eugene.

Note: This story has been updated with a response by Interfaith Prayer Service International.  

The individual who tested positive didn’t get tested until March 17, six days after the service, due to preexisting medical conditions. The county health department says this made it difficult to assess COVID-19 symptoms.

Lane County Public Health is asking individuals who were present at the location, during the identified time to call the health department at 541-682-1380, only if they have developed COVID-19 symptoms since exposure.

The 14-day quarantine period from the date of exposure has passed, meaning  non-symptomatic people who attended the Interfaith Prayer Service on March 11 are not being asked to self-quarantine, according to the county health department.

First Christian Chuch moved to online church services on March 12 after Governor Kate Brown placed a temporary ban on large gatherings. 

In a press release sent by Interfaith Prayer Service International Board Member Arun Toke on Sunday, members at the service were provided with two hand sanitizer stations. They were located at both the entrance and the Fellowship table, and attendees practiced social distancing.

"The service was sparsely attended, and most attendees sat with good distance between them. Snacks available during the fellowship time after service were individually wrapped," the release stated.

Board members expressed their commitment to the physical and spriritual wellbeing of all who attended the March 11 service in the relsease. They added they are complying with orders and guidelines given by the state and Lane County Public Health. The next prayer service, set for April 11, will be streamed online.

© 2020 KLCC

Melorie Begay is a multimedia journalist for KLCC News. She was the Inaugural KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She has a bachelors in Multimedia Journalism from the University of New Mexico. She previously interned at KUNM public radio in Albuquerque, NM and served as a fellow for the online news publication New Mexico In Depth.
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