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Health & Medicine

Easter Services Get Creative, As Oregon Confirmed Coronavirus Cases Climb

UPDATE (Tuesday, April 14 at 9:28 a.m. PT) — Oregon state and local health officials reported 80 new coronavirus cases Sunday. 1,527 cases are now confirmed in Oregon.

State officials also reported one new coronavirus-related death Sunday, an 89-year-old Multnomah County woman with underlying health conditions.

52 people in Oregon are known to have died from COVID-19.

Easter services go online and to parking lots

As churches have closed their doors to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many have adapted to streaming their services online via Facebook, YouTube and Zoom.

But this Easter Sunday, some churchgoers are still able to gather in person without leaving their cars.

The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin reports a group of local churches in Milton-Freewater is offering “COVID-19-compliant” worship services at the M-F Drive-In Theater.

“We’re not trying to test God or play games, but to compliantly, respectfully worship and observe together," First Christian Church Pastor Steve Lyons said. "This is one of the ways we are affirming faith and gathering together in a trying time.” 

In Medford, New Song Church and Hope City Church are holding a drive-through style Easter services, with different stations for reading, children’s stories and worship, KDRV reports.

The churches said they’re maintaining social distancing standards with people remaining in their cars.

In Hillsboro, Laurel Community Church and Scholls Community Church have kept their 83-year-long tradition of holding an Easter Sunrise Service on Bald Peak by streaming their service along the hillside.

(This story has been updated to correct an attribution.)

Washington surpasses 10,000 cases

Clark County Public Health said Friday that there are 14 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the county. There are now 220 known cases of the virus there. To date, 14 people in Clark County have died.

The latest available data from the Washington Department of Health indicated the state had reported 10,224 diagnosed cases of the coronavirus and 491 related deaths.

Projections show social distancing is working for Oregon

New projections released Saturday by the Oregon Health Authority estimate that current aggressive social distancing efforts are helping to eventually flatten the curve of active coronavirus cases in Oregon.

The projections, made by Washington’s Institute for Disease Modeling, estimate there are currently about 7,000 coronavirus cases in Oregon rather than the just more than 1,400 cases that have been diagnosed.

But the report states that without any social distancing measures in place, that number would be closer to 25,000.

Oregon team to address coronavirus in long-term care facilities

The Oregon Department of Human Services and Oregon Health Authority announced Saturday the creation of a support team that will assess the needs of long-term care facilities with increased coronavirus cases.

The two agencies said they have entered a data-sharing arrangement, allowing them to better monitor coronavirus cases within care facilities statewide and to share updates with the public.

The agencies released an initial report Saturday detailing cases in the state with five or more coronavirus cases.

The facility with the most cases is Healthcare at Foster Creek in Portland with 35 cases and nine related deaths.

<p>The first of two Easter parking lot services is held at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Lawrence, Kan., Sunday, April 12, 2020. With coronavirus prevention measures shuttering houses of worship, pastors across the country are urging parishioners to use their cars to safely bring their communities closer together. Drive-in churches are popping up so worshipers can assemble. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)</p>
<p>Orlin Wagner</p> /
/
<p>The first of two Easter parking lot services is held at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Lawrence, Kan., Sunday, April 12, 2020. With coronavirus prevention measures shuttering houses of worship, pastors across the country are urging parishioners to use their cars to safely bring their communities closer together. Drive-in churches are popping up so worshipers can assemble. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)</p>

Copyright 2020 Oregon Public Broadcasting

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