As 23 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Oregon on Saturday, bringing the total to 137 confirmed cases in the state, the pastor of a Pentecostal church in Oregon was home and praying for his wife of 38 years who is seriously ill due to the infection.
“I haven’t seen my wife since Sunday,” Jerry Miranda, pastor of Salem Tabernacle Church, told Salem Reporter. “I haven’t been able to talk to her. We’ve been married 38 years.”
The 58-year-old pastor started the church with his wife Teresa, 56, about 30 years ago. The couple has four grown-up children in the Salem area. Teresa is an instructional assistant at a school but would always be with Miranda for worship service or other church activities.
“Once they took her behind the wall, I didn’t get to see her again,” recalled the pastor, who is not allowed to visit her in the hospital. But he’s praying at home and church members are showing support.
“There are people coming in every day, every day praying,” he was quoted as saying. “I’ve gotten calls from around the world.”
Pastor Miranda remains positive. “It’s something new to all of us and obviously life will never be the same after this,” he said. “I do believe we’ll come out of this and we will have learned a great lesson … how precious life can be and don’t take things for granted.”
The Oregon Health Authority announced Saturday that the number of confirmed cases had risen to 137 with four deaths, according to Statesman Journal. The first death was reported in Marion County Friday, raising the deaths in Oregon from three to four.
“Marion County Health and Human Services continues to take necessary, carefully considered steps to slow down the spread of the disease and to protect those at greatest risk,” Marion County officials said in a statement. “Our top priority continues to be protecting the health of our community.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and all those who have been affected by COVID-19,” Marion County Commissioner Colm Willis said. “It is critical that individuals and organizations take action to slow the spread of coronavirus and follow the guidance and recommendations from health care professionals.”
Last week, an Episcopal priest who was the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Washington, D.C., was reported to be doing well while recovering in the hospital, his church said.
The Rev. Tim Cole, the rector at Christ Church Georgetown, garnered headlines earlier this month by becoming the first confirmed case of coronavirus in the District of Columbia. In a message sent out to the congregation on Sunday, the staff at Christ Church reported that Cole was still hospitalized but he said that he was “fever free and feeling pretty good.”
The church also noted that other members of their congregation “with confirmed cases of COVID-19 are resting at home and continuing to improve.”
As of early Sunday, there were over 300,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in 184 countries, areas or territories, with a death toll of over 13,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.
In the United States, the number of confirmed cases jumped to more than 26,000 with more than 340 deaths.