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Lane County Public Health concerned as holiday weekend approaches

One church said they were planning a carnival, Easter egg hunt, and more for the holiday, but those plans have been canceled.

Posted: Apr 7, 2020 6:14 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- With Easter and Passover this weekend, leaders at Lane County Public Health said they are concerned that they could lead to social gatherings and more cases of COVID-19.

Lane County Public Health spokesperson Jason Davis said many religious organizations are following the social distancing guidelines. Still, he said there are a few organizations in the county that are not. He said they are reaching out to them and reminding them what they can and can't do.

"It's reasonable that people need to be reminded," Davis said. "We've tried to stress that this is not normal, this is not normal life, and part of that means reminding and helping people understand the overall impact they have through the decisions they make on a daily basis."

Kathy Isaksen is an assistant pastor at Living Hope Free Methodist Church in south Eugene. She said they originally planned to have a carnival, Easter egg hunt, and more for the holiday. Now she said all of those plans have been canceled.

She said they have switched to doing online services using Facebook Live. She said they plan to keep their online Easter service simple. She is encouraging other religious leaders to do the same.

"This is a time where we can still experience peace and joy because of Easter," Isaksen said. "And I think that is our job 365 days a year 24/7 and it doesn't change when we can't do church."

Isaksen said their congregation is around 100 people, but since they started doing services online, they've had people from all of the country watch.

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