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News Release
Reassigned County Workers Are Delivering Meals to Seniors - 03/24/20

Reassigned County Workers Are Delivering Meals to Seniors

(Douglas County, Ore.) Douglas County Board of Commissioners have been working with all county departments in developing a resource list of employees that are available to be redeployed to other areas of County Government during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a part of this program, 37 county employees from Public Works, the Fairgrounds and the Assessor’s Office have been temporarily reassigned to help our Douglas County Senior Services Department.  These are employees that would have otherwise been sent home with the recent, “Stay Home, Stay Safe” orders.  They are a welcome addition to Senior Services to assist in the delivery of meals to seniors.

It goes without saying, that one of the most critical areas where workers are needed is at our Senior Dining Sites. Our regular route drivers and volunteers are seniors themselves, and are among those considered to be in the ‘high-risk’ population for contracting coronavirus.   So, in order to protect our vulnerable seniors, we are replacing those positions with county employees.  Douglas County Senior Service operates seven Senior Dining Sites in Douglas County, which are all located in rural areas.  The sites are in Yoncalla, Glide, Glendale, Sutherlin, Riddle, Winston and Reedsport.  Depending on the day, around 300-500 meals are delivered to local seniors. 

The Douglas County Board of Commissioners have made it a priority to continue to operate our Meals on Wheels programs in these areas, delivering essential meals to home bound seniors.  Senior Services have added additional safety and health precautions during the pandemic to ensure the safety of the seniors and our employees, including; door knocks and minimal contact. They will also be conducting welfare checks via phone.  Last week the senior dining sites were closed for dine-in services due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  But, with a little work and ingenuity, Senior Services decided to roll out a new "Curb Service" drive-up senior meal service, in which they are handing out hot meals on a drive up basis at these dining sites instead.  They have made the adventure fun with checkered flags and a 50’s car hop theme. All seniors are welcome to test-drive the new “Curb Service.” 

If you know a senior or you are a senior that needs assistance, please log onto: www.recovers.org or call Douglas County Senior Services at (541) 440-3677 for more information.

It is imperative that we continue to provide our meal service to our most vulnerable residents during this crisis.  Diversifying our workforce to make sure our senior population’s needs are met is a critical piece of our response puzzle,” commented Commissioner Tom Kress.  The Douglas County Board of Commissioners continue to research every possible avenue to continue to keep food, necessary services and responsive public safety available to our residents.

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