Douglas Co. Government
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News Release
Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team - Case/Daily Update - May 17, 2020 (Photo) - 05/17/20



Our local COVID-19 updates represent the coordinated effort of the 14 agencies that make up the DCCRT.


            (Douglas County, Ore.)  Sunny days are upon us and we know with the increased access to parks and recreation areas in Douglas County, as well as in Oregon, that residents and visitors are anxious to get back outdoors. Just a reminder that as parts of Oregon begin the Governor’s Phase One Reopening process, some Oregon State Parks are now open for limited day-use. But, all overnight camping in Oregon State Parks remains temporarily closed.  Before visiting a state park, check out the park map to see the status of all Oregon State Parks and available services and facilities, including hours of operation.  In Douglas County, our parks have been open since May 1, 2020 for day-use and our RV Parks are open for limited use with self-contained units. Click here for the current guidelines for Douglas County Parks.


Park visitors should come prepared and follow these guidelines to keep themselves, their families and others safe:

  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • If visiting, stay local and close to home, meaning less than 50 miles.
  • Only visit with members of your own household.
  • Bring all supplies with you — food, water, hand cleanser, soap, towels, garbage bags, toilet paper, etc.


Reminder: Do not overcrowd a park.  If a park is already crowded, leave and come back at another time. If there’s space at the park, visitors need to visit with care:

  • Stay at least 6 feet away from people who aren’t from your household. More is better.
  • Cover your cough with a tissue (then throw it away), or cough on the inside of your elbow.
  • Leave no trace: Pack out everything you bring with you.
  • Stick to low-risk activities to reduce stress on local emergency response and health care systems.
  • Keep your visit short. Restrooms and other buildings may be closed.
  • Watch for signs at the park for more information.


Douglas County COVID-19 Test Results

It is Sunday, May 17, 2020 and as of 12:00 pm today, there are NO new cases of COVID-19 in Douglas County.  The total number of positive tests in Douglas County remains at 25.  We want to reiterate that there was an error on the OHA website reporting cases in Douglas County on Friday, May 15, as such there was not a new case on that day.  We are currently working with staff at OHA to get the case count corrected.  Douglas County has 25 cases as of Sunday, May 17, 2020.  Testing continues, as DPHN has been holding 2-3 clinics a week and hospitals, urgent cares and clinics continue to test.  Additional testing technologies such as the Abbot ID Now machine, available locally, have also shortened the wait time for results.  Twenty-five people have tested positive in the county and twenty-three of those twenty-five have recovered.  DPHN defines recovery as an end to all symptoms after a positive test for COVID-19.


Here are the current numbers for Douglas County:

New Cases

as of 12:00 pm

May 17, 2020

Total Confirmed Cases

Total Recovered



(of those that tested positive)

Total COVID-19






(of those that tested positive)

Total Negative Test Result

Total Presumptive Cases









The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has expanded their reporting for COVID-19 case management and will now include presumptive COVID-19 cases.  DPHN will also be reporting presumptive cases and will use the OHA’s definition of presumptive as having had close contact with a known, confirmed COVID-19 case, showing symptoms and not yet having a positive nasal swab/PCR test for COVID-19.  DPHN continues their epidemiologic investigations, identifying individuals who may have had close contact with individuals that have tested positive for COVID-19, advising and supporting quarantine. The majority of the individuals who have tested positive earlier have now recovered.


Get Tested & Testing Clinics

If you are having symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, fever, shortness of breath, muscle aches and pains, diarrhea, sore throat or decreased sense of smell and taste, talk to your health care provider about being tested for COVID-19.  The first drive thru testing site was piloted in the county on March 17, 2020, there have been 491 people tested in the drive through clinics alone, additional testing continues in hospitals, urgent cares and clinics simultaneously.  The drive through clinics are led by DPHN, in conjunction with partner agencies including; Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team, Douglas County Board of Commissioners, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas County Public Works, local volunteers and local health professionals.


Oregon COVID-19 Case Update

Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website at 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.


DCCRT Partner Spotlight: Douglas Public Health Network: COVID-19 Response (Part III of III)

Douglas Public Health Network (DPHN) is at the heart of Douglas County’s COVID-19 efforts, and its staff has been working tirelessly to protect residents’ health and keep the County on the cutting edge of responsiveness to the pandemic.

DPHN took a proactive and transparent approach to battling the virus from the get-go, setting up a COVID-19 hotline and launching “Facebook Lives” with Public Health Administrator Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer to provide information and answer community members’ questions in real time.  Led by DPHN, the County was one of the first in Oregon to offer drive-through testing, Dannenhoffer and Dr. Jason Gray, Chief Medical Officer at Mercy Medical Center, did a dry-run of the operation themselves to make sure everything worked and was safe before opening it up to the public.


DPHN Executive Director Teresa Mutschler said drive-through flu vaccination clinics performed in recent years paved the way for the COVID-19 testing station.  “Through the emergency preparedness and response program, we’ve done exercises with all of our emergency partners and medical partners, doing drive-through flu vaccination clinics to practice for just this sort of event,” she said.


Personal protective equipment (PPE) has also been a main focus of DPHN, which has been managing the local PPE inventory and making sure it gets to where it is most needed. DPHN has also been distributing hand-sewn cloth masks donated by community volunteers. Mutschler said DPHN’s effectiveness has been in large part due to its partnerships and cooperation from the community. “Everything we’re doing over here, we really have huge support from volunteers and from other organizations,” she said.


Another of DPHN’s key functions during COVID-19 is contact tracing, or the process of finding out whom COVID-19 patients have been in contact with in order to alert those individuals they are at risk. The goal is to interrupt the chain of transmission by having those individuals self-isolate in order to prevent further spread. Dannenhoffer said contact-tracing efforts have been ramping up recently – the ability to contact-trace 95 percent of new COVID cases within 24 hours is one of the state’s requirements for Phase 1 reopening.   DPHN’s COVID-19 hotline has fielded more than 1,500 calls, Rutledge said. In the beginning, most callers had questions about symptoms and testing. Recently, callers have asked about Oregon’s reopening and what restrictions will be in place.  While DPHN has provided many core functions during the pandemic, the local COVID-19 response as whole is a countywide effort coordinated by the Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team and its 14 partner agencies. Mutschler serves as co-incident commander of the team.


As difficult as this pandemic has been on all of us individually, organizationally and community-wide, it has been rewarding to be part of such an incredible team and to have the depth and scope of support we’ve had from local partners,” she said. “Our response would have looked fundamentally different if we hadn’t had those key elements.”


State Encourages Business Owners to Apply for Paycheck Protection Loans

There is still funding available through the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and the state is encouraging Oregon business owners to apply for the forgivable loans, according to a press release from the Governor’s office.


Any Oregon business impacted by COVID-19 that has under 500 employees – including sole proprietors – may be eligible for this unique, short-term program,” said Linda Navarro, CEO of the Oregon Bankers Association. “Spread the word that there are still funds available – funds we want to get into the hands of Oregonians.


The Governor’s office said that roughly 55,000 Oregon businesses have received more than $7 billion in loans through the PPP. The loan program, run by the Small Business Administration (SBA), was authorized by the federal CARES Act.


Business owners can apply through their local banks or credit unions. More information about the program is available on the SBA’s website. Here are lists of Oregon banks and credit unions participating in the Paycheck Protection Program. The state has developed a COVID-19 Small Business Navigator website to help business owners keep track of the various resources and funding opportunities available to them. The site has sections on financial assistance, workforce assistance and reopening guidelines. Business owners can also call (833) 604-0880 for assistance.


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 to Douglas County residents since March 8, 2020.  If you have questions about resources available, call the COVID-19 hotline, staffed by local volunteers at (541) 464-6550 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, 7 days a week.   Stay up to date on COVID-19 in Douglas County on the DPHN website at  Find additional information on state or federal COVID-19 response from the following websites: Douglas County Government, Oregon Health Authority, Centers for Disease Control, and by calling or logging onto 211Info.

View more news releases from Douglas Co. Government.