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Alton L. Collins Retreat Center collaborates with Clackamas County Emergency Operations Center during pandemic

PMG FILE PHOTO - The Alton L. Collins Retreat Center in Eagle Creek is acting as a shelter for coronavirus patients in Clackamas County who do not have the space to safely self-quarantine.

A retreat center in Eagle Creek is ready to provide space for COVID-19 patients to recover from the illness.

The Alton L. Collins Retreat Center on Highway 211 is acting as a shelter for coronavirus patients in Clackamas County, who do not have the space to safely self-quarantine. Though the center has not received any patients yet, staff looks forward to providing a place of respite to those who need it.

"We're a quiet place in nature. It's a great place to heal in both body and spirit," said Dan Benson, director of the center that is run through a partnership between the Oregon-Idaho Conference of The United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon. "We can provide isolation pretty easily. We're well off the beaten path."

Amid a statewide ban on gatherings to facilitate social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak, staff at the retreat center saw normally scheduled events come to a halt. They connected with the Clackamas County Emergency Operations Center, who shared that there was a need for places to act as shelters for COVID-19 patients who do not have a place to self-quarantine, whether they lack the space or live with an individual who is immunocompromised.

"Our mission is to provide space for people to grow, transform and heal. We were looking for other ways to help our community while using our facilities," Benson said.

Clackamas County has reserved the Collins Retreat Center for COVID-19 patients since April 20. The facility features 23 rooms for guests, each of which has a private balcony to allow patients to appreciate the outdoors while maintaining a safe distance from others.

Patients would likely stay at the center between seven and 14 days.

"We're grateful for the opportunity to support the community in a time when we're otherwise vacant," Benson said.


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