EUGENE, Ore. -- With statewide executive orders putting restrictions on gatherings, church doors closed in Oregon.
After a recent announcement from the Archdiocese of Portland, those doors will be reopening for parishes that feel comfortable and ready.
The Archdiocese of Portland said in a statement to KEZI: “We have been consistently working within the guidelines issued by the state and health care experts and will continue to do so. An exhaustive list of requirements for the parishes to be able to resume Masses was sent to all priests last Friday. Those who feel they are ready to open -- based on those requirements -- are allowed to do so. Others may need to wait a week or more, or even wait until the gathering numbers increase.”
There are strict social distancing policies that will be taking place in order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Only 25 people are allowed inside the building at one time, so signing up in advance is essential. In addition, increased sanitation will be implemented.
Those at high risk or who are concerned about their health are encouraged to continue streaming online.
Eugene resident Katie Collins said that she’s still found spiritual connection, even in the midst of a pandemic.
“It's actually helped me a lot to dive back into the basics about the Catholic faith with reading spiritual books and listening to talks on YouTube from the priests that they've been posting and live streaming Mass,” Collins said.
Collins said she is optimistic about the limited reopening of Mass with the social distancing polices that will be in place. Her church in Veneta will be reopening this weekend.
“I'm excited about it, and I do plan to attend in person because it's important to me and my family,” Collins said.
Jason Davis with Lane County Public Health said the county “recognizes the importance of faith in many people’s lives” but the hope is that the community will adhere to proper physcial distancing policies.
“We hope people will understand the severity of the situation and help us protect the health of Lane County by interacting responsibly,” Davis said.
For a full list of parishes in Oregon, click here.