By ANYSSA BOHANAN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
Union County voluntarily returned to phase one of reopening today after more than 200 cases of COVID-19 were linked to an outbreak at Lighthouse Pentecostal Church in La Grande. The outbreak is the state’s largest to date.
Public health officials say they are trying to track how far the virus has gone in the county.
Meanwhile, churches in Central Oregon such as Highland Baptist Church in Redmond have opened their doors to in-person services.
Highland leaders said they’re doing everything possible to keep their congregation safe and healthy, including limiting the number of people inside the building and cleaning in between services.
“We’ve got masks available and we’re not passing the offering plate on Sundays,” Pastor Wayne Poling said. “Instead, in front of each door we have a receptacle where people can place their offering.”
Next week, the church will have small, single-serve containers at communion. Poling says it’s all in an effort to continue to ensure their congregation’s safety.
“We want to provide the opportunity for them to worship together,” Poling said. “But we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to make entering here safe.”