Churches plan Sunday services at Oldham Co drive-in

Churches plan Sunday services at Oldham Co drive-in
Stephen Sauerbeck, owner of the Sauerbeck Family Drive-In drive in theater in La Grange, Ky.
Stephen Sauerbeck, owner of the Sauerbeck Family Drive-In drive in theater in La Grange, Ky. (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News)

LA GRANGE, Ky (WAVE) - The need for public worship and the need for public health are both being put to the test by Easter services planned at an Oldham County drive-in theater.

If all goes as planned, the Sauerbeck Family Drive-In Theater in La Grange could be full of cars on Easter Sunday, allowing worshipers from seven churches to attend services on one of the holiest days on the calendar.

Oldham County Public Health Director Teresa Gamsky .
Oldham County Public Health Director Teresa Gamsky . (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News)

“And we do think that it is a safe opportunity,” owner Stephen Sauerbeck said. “But with that in mind, we're not looking to challenge any government regulation on it.”

To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, people will be asked to stay in their cars parked six feet apart. There will be no restrooms. Sauerbeck is waiting for the Oldham County Health Department to give the go-ahead.

Public Health Director Teresa Gamsky said the sheer size of the event produces concerns.

“The traffic that it creates, during the entire Sunday event… could possibly stress our EMS or police system,” Gamsky said, “and also put those first responders in harm’s way should they need to care for someone who is positive.”

Sauerbeck said he is not charging the churches for using his theater, which has been closed so far this season as a non-essential business.

“For our standpoint, it's simply a community service,” Sauerbeck said. “We're not able to be in business. We can't operate as a movie theater.”

Gamsky said a decision could come early Friday.

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