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News Release
Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team - Daily Local Update - 04/08/20

JOINT INFORMATION CENTER PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - April 8, 2020

DOUGLAS COUNTY COVID-19 RESPONSE TEAM - DAILY LOCAL UPDATE

(Douglas County, Ore.)  We understand how difficult it is to stay home when we see the beautiful sunshine outside and the forecast is predicting a few warm sunny days in our future.  The Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team, under the direction of the Douglas County Commissioners would like to emphasize the importance of residents continuing to stay safe when it’s sunny and following the #StayHomeSaveLives order to slow the spread of COVID-19.  We must continue our commitment, even in nice weather. Here are a few tips and reminders offered by OHA about how to stay safe when it’s sunny, if you can maintain the 6 feet people distance.

DO:

  • Enjoy the outdoor areas at your residence
  • Enjoy solo physical activities or those with members of your immediate household, such as walking, biking and running.
  • Host a virtual picnic with friends
  • Perform outdoor chores like gardening, lawn mowing and washing your car.
  • Open your doors and windows to let fresh air in while you remain inside.

DO NOT:

  • Participate in group sports, visit crowded parks, attend social gatherings, travel or go out if you are sick.

Local COVID-19 Test Results

As of 12:00 PM, April 8, 2020, there are no new cases of COVID-19 in Douglas County. The number of positive cases stands at twelve total in the county, three recovered, zero deaths and 455 negative tests for COVID-19 in the county. Douglas Public Health Network continues their epidemiologic investigations, identifying individuals who may have had close contact with individuals that have tested positive for COVID-19 and advising quarantine. Three of the individuals who tested positive earlier have now recovered. DPHN defines recovery as an end to all symptoms after a positive test for COVID-9.

The next drive-through COVID-19 clinic sponsored by DPHN is scheduled for Friday, April 10th.  At this time, you can only get a COVID-19 test through your healthcare provider. Residents must be identified by their health care provider, as a patient that is symptomatic, and needs to be tested.  Information has been given to providers and clinics about how to get their patients signed up for the drive-through testing clinics.  If you want to be tested, you must talk to your health care provider.  Tests are currently being processed at the Oregon State Public Health Lab and a growing number of commercial labs, like Quest and LabCorp. There are very few outpatient clinics in Douglas County offering testing at this time. Community health partners are working very hard to make testing available to a wider number of people. The first drive thru testing site was piloted in the county on March 17, 2020, 238 people have been tested so far in the DPHN sponsored drive through clinics.

Oregon COVID-19 Case Update

Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website at www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.  The Oregon Health Authority is also releasing the daily situation status report, which is produced jointly with Oregon Office of Emergency Management. It details the overall picture of the COVID-19 outbreak within the state and the response across government agencies. Read more here about the daily situation status report.

Routine and Emergency Care during COVID-19

There have been a lot of questions about getting routine or emergency care in our hospitals, urgent cares and clinics.  While many of us are worried about COVID-19, other medical conditions such as appendicitis and heart attacks are still here, and they can be deadly if not treated appropriately.  If you have a serious health condition, do not hesitate to seek care at a hospital or urgent care.

    • Emergency care can and should still be sought – this includes, but is not limited to, possible strokes, heart attacks, bleeding that won’t stop, broken bones, etc.
    • If you have an emergency, do not hesitate to dial 9-1-1 for an ambulance response.
    • If you have medical concerns or questions, do not ignore them, contact your healthcare provider. If you don’t have a healthcare provider, contact an urgent care clinic or hospital.
    • Some routine services such as preventive screening procedures will likely need to be re-scheduled. But, many routine services can be provided by telehealth, so long as this type of visit is offered by your health care provider. Ask your health care provider about your appointments and if the telehealth option is available.

Please don’t delay needed care, doctor visits etc.  While our hospitals and clinics have paused previously scheduled procedures (due to PPE preservation), some necessary procedures are still being done.   The governor has asked that health care workers refrain from procedures that use up our supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), but many X-ray or other imaging studies do not use PPE and can be done. Our local hospitals, as well as medical clinics and urgent care clinics have instituted additional safety and screening procedures to make access to needed care safe and convenient as possible for people during this pandemic. 

Glove and Mask Etiquette

We all want you to be educated, safe and healthy.  Now that a lot of people are wearing masks and gloves when in public, the DPHN staff put together a fun and informational video about how to best use gloves and masks. The video used glitter to simulate germs and is only a few minutes long.  Please see all the DPHN COVID-19 informational videos on the DPHN YouTube channel.

Tips for Grocery Shopping in the time of COVID-19

Grocery shopping is an essential activity, but many are wondering how safe it is to go to the store during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some tips on how to keep yourself and others healthy while grocery shopping:

  • Shop during hours that are less busy. If you search Google for a supermarket in your area, a box will often pop up showing when foot traffic there is highest. Some stores offer senior hours. 
  • Check store policies; if a store is not taking special measures to increase sanitation and enforce social distancing, don’t shop there.
  • Limit your trips to the store; plan ahead and make a list before you go.
  • Wear cloth face coverings in public, as recommended by the CDC. The masks will not prevent you from getting sick, but they will help protect others if you are an asymptomatic carrier. Avoid touching your face.
  • Bring hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes with you. Wipe down your shopping cart or basket before and after you use it. Use hand sanitizer after shopping and before touching your car-door handle.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from other people while shopping.
  • Pay with a debit or credit card. That way, you don’t have to hand over bills or receive change. Use your own pen to sign receipts. If you can, use a virtual payment system like Apple Pay so that you don’t have to open your wallet at all.
  • When you get home, wash or wipe down non-porous containers with disinfectant wipes, and wash produce.
  • A preliminary study found that COVID-19 doesn’t survive on cardboard for more than 24 hours. You can leave cardboard food containers in your garage or other area for 24 hours before putting them away, or with certain foods like cereal, you can remove the inner plastic packaging and throw away the outer cardboard container.
  • Wash your hands after putting away your groceries.
  • If you have your groceries delivered, avoid a direct handoff; instead, have the delivery driver leave items outside your door. Tip electronically.
  • If you are picking up prepaid groceries in a store parking lot, consider opening the car door yourself rather than having someone else touch your door handle.

Experts say there is little risk of contracting COVID-19 from the groceries you purchase. Additional information and advice can be found on the Consumer Reports website.

Construction Industry, State Agencies Create Safety Guidelines

State officials and construction industry leaders have developed a comprehensive list of COVID-19 jobsite safety recommendations. The recommendations were created by the Oregon Home Builders Association (OHBA), the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) and the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA).

The guidelines incorporate recommendations issued by the state, such as on-site checklists for construction workers, social-distancing measures and the importance of identifying site-specific “safety captains.” To view the new construction jobsite safety guidelines, visit Oregon OSHA’s COVID-19 page.

“We appreciate the active role the construction industry has taken in educating its workforce regarding jobsite best practices and striving for 100 percent compliance with social distancing requirements,” Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood said. “These efforts are critical to protecting public health and the safety of construction workers.”             

OHBA has also developed a COVID-19 safety class available to contractors through the Home Builders University.

Stay Informed with the Accurate Information

Your Douglas County Board of Commissioners, Douglas County Public Health Officer, Dr. Robert Dannenhoffer and the Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team have been working hard to cooperatively provide accurate and timely information and a response to Douglas County residents. If you have questions about resources available, call the COVID-19 hotline, staffed by local volunteers at (541) 464-6550.  Stay up to date on COVID-19 in Douglas County on the DPHN website at www.douglaspublichealthnetwork.org.  Find additional information on state, federal and international COVID-19 response from the following websites: Oregon Health Authority, Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization and by calling or logging onto 211Info.

View more news releases from Douglas Co. Government.