236 people newly infected with coronavirus linked to Oregon church

A large coronavirus outbreak in a small northeast Oregon county grew by 119 new cases Tuesday, yet again pushing the state to a new record number of cases confirmed in a single day, state and county officials said.

At least 236 coronavirus cases have been linked to an outbreak at Lighthouse United Pentecostal Church in Union County’s Island City, a small town near La Grande, confirmed Deputy State Epidemiologist Tom Jeanne. The outbreak accounts for 47% of the 462 cases reported statewide since Monday.

“That does make this the largest single outbreak of COVID-19 in Oregon to date,” Jeanne said.

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“We have tested the majority of the congregation at the church in Union County,” Thomas Jeanne, the deputy state health officer and deputy state epidemiologist, told the Associated Press. “At this point we hope there will not be a lot more (cases), but that is what contact tracing, quarantine and follow up will be important for.”

The church hosted multiple events over the last few months, despite Gov. Kate Brown’s lockdown orders, according to the La Grande Observer. Among them were in-person services and a wedding and graduation ceremony, each with at least 100 people in attendance.

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