By Marissa Armas

(CBS4) — While many people spent Easter Sunday with their families, some in Commerce City spent it with the community, hoping to vaccinate as many people for COVID-19 as possible.

(credit: CBS)

Parents with their kids and husbands with their wives trickled into Our Lady Mother of the Church on Sunday, to not only hear the word of the Lord but to receive COVID-19 vaccines, masks and tests on a day dedicated to Jesus Christ.

“Coming out of mass, I saw them, and I was like, ‘Wow, of course I’m going to take advantage of this,'” said Blanca Valles, a parishioner.

Recent data from Colorado Department of Health & Environment shows that cases in the state are rising again with April 13, giving Colorado the most cases on a single day since early March, which is why pastor Jorge De Los Santos helped host the clinic.

“Religion is not only about being in the church, it’s about the common good, the health, the body and the soul,” De Los Santos said. “Then as we promote good spirituality, then, we promote the good health of the people. On this day many people come that usually don’t come to the church. So now, they have the opportunity.”

Health equity consultant Julissa Soto has made it her mission to vaccinate as many people as possible with much of her focus on the Latino community, but with the Colorado Latino population still behind on vaccinations and the state’s COVID resources phasing out, Soto worries about what the future will bring.

“I’m just super scared that this is going to look ugly and we’re not paying attention to this,” Soto said.

Together, Soto, the church and the health equity team were able to vaccinate more than 200 people on Sunday, with at least 50% of individuals receiving their first or second dose of the shot. But Easter or not, the message to vaccinate continues.

“The virus is coming again, and the more protected we are, the better off we’ll be,” Valles said.

Marissa Armas