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News Release
Get Tested
Get Tested
Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team - Daily Local Update - May 19, 2020 (Photo) - 05/19/20




            (Douglas County, Ore.) Wildfire season does not pause for a pandemic, or for that matter, any reason.  With the recent Emergency Drought declaration issued by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners for Douglas County, as well as by the Commissioners in four other SW Oregon Counties, the forecast looks like it will be a very dry summer in our region.  Moreover, wildfire season for our fire crews, fire camps and support staff will have a whole new mode of operation with regard to all the COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.  So, it is imperative that our citizens be even more conscientious this summer in preparing, monitoring activities and preventing the risk of wildfires in our communities.

Did you know that 70 percent of wildfires in Oregon are caused by people? While summer thunderstorms are responsible for sparking some fires, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) wants people to know that most fires are human-caused and preventable. The top three causes of human-sparked fires are: escaped or rekindled debris burns; sparks or exhaust from power equipment; and escaped campfires.  Escaped debris burns have been the number one cause of wildfires in Oregon for decades, according to ODF. Debris burns are particularly dangerous when people burn during windy conditions; fail to create an adequate clearing; or leave the burn site unattended.  Here are a few tips for burning safely, offered by ODF:

  • Call your local Fire Protection Agency before you burn to check on any local restrictions
  • Place your debris pile in an open area away from structures, trees and power lines
  • Create small piles (4’ by 4’) to better manage the burn
  • Cover portions of the piles with polyethylene plastic (landscape material) to keep a portion dry for lighting later
  • Never burn under windy conditions
  • Create a perimeter around the pile at a minimum of 3 feet, scraped clear to bare mineral soil
  • Keep a shovel and charged hose nearby to manage the burn
  • Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving
  • Return periodically over several weeks to check for any heat or smoke


Mowing dry grass during high-fire-danger periods is also perilous. As an example, the 2015 Stouts Creek Fire that burned more than 30,000 acres near Tiller was sparked by a man mowing during restricted hours. The most common cause of mowing-related fires is the mower blade striking a rock or other hard object, creating a spark. Some fires have been started by power saws, weed eaters, motor vehicle exhaust (including motorcycles and ATVs), cutting and welding, and power lines. ODF recommends checking for local restrictions on mowing or similar activities; mowing early in the morning when there is dew in the grass; keeping vehicles in good working condition – including exhaust systems; and creating defensible space early in the spring before conditions get too dry.  When camping, check before you go to see if campfires are allowed. Carry a bucket for water, and a shovel with you. Keep fires small and manageable, and build them in open areas away from grass, brush and overhanging trees. Premade, designated fire pit areas at a campground are one of the safest places to have a campfire. For more information, visit the Keep Oregon Green website.   


Douglas County COVID-19 Test Results

It is Tuesday, May 19, 2020 and as of 12:00 pm today, there are NO new cases of COVID-19 in Douglas County.  The total number of positive cases in Douglas County remains at 25.  Testing continues, as DPHN has been holding 2-3 clinics a week and hospitals, urgent cares and clinics continue to test.  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.  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.  The first positive COVID-19 case in Douglas County was announced on March 8, 2020.  Thanks to the great work that Douglas County has done social distancing and staying home, we’ve had 25 cases in 72 days.   


Here are the current numbers for Douglas County:

New Cases

as of 12:00 pm

May 19, 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.  

Getting Tested & Testing Clinics

Thirteen residents were tested at the drive-through testing clinic held in Roseburg today, Tuesday, May 19.  As of today, our drive-through testing clinics have conducted over 500 nasal swab/PCR tests.  As a reminder, 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 508 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.


USDA Announces Details of Direct Assistance to Farmers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced details today for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Click here for more information.


In addition to this direct support to farmers and ranchers, USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program is partnering with regional and local distributors, whose workforces have been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat and deliver boxes to Americans in need. Click here for more information.


TIP: How to Keep Your Glasses from Fogging Up While Wearing a Face Mask

Here is a science-based tip is a throwback from 2011, but it’s actually coming in handy right now. For many people wearing face masks has become commonplace at work and when they are running errands.  But, for those of us that wear corrective eye gear, it is not fun dealing with fogged-up glasses. They would rather have foggy glasses than catch or spread this unprecedented virus, or go against their employers or CDC guidelines.  In fact, medical professionals (and many others) have dealt with inconvenient, face-mask-induced spectacle condensation on the job for decades.  That’s why, back in 2011, two scientists published a study in The Royal College of Surgeons of England, that brings to light a super simple, at-home hack for this very phenomenon. Anti-fogging spray products do exist, but this trick requires zero shopping, and adds no risk of putting harsh chemicals near the sensitive eye area.


Here’s how it works: Right before putting on a face mask, wash your glasses with soapy water and shake off the excess. Then, let the glasses air dry or gently dry off the lenses with a soft tissue before putting them back on. Now your eye glass lenses should not mist up when the face mask is worn.  It’s a pretty simple trick and it is actually scientifically sound.  As study authors, Sheraz Shafi Malik and Shahbaz Shafi Malik explain, wearing a face mask directs warmer, exhaled breath upward (rather than outward, like normal) where your glasses sit. The warm water vapor condensing on the cooler surface of the lenses causes them to form tiny water droplets and get misty. The droplets form because of the inherent surface tension between the water molecules.  The soapy water’s sneaky role, then, is to leave behind an undetectable surfactant film that reduces said surface tension and allows these water molecules to spread evenly into a transparent layer. The authors also note this unassuming trick, or “surfactant effect,” can be used in any day-to-day attempt to prevent fogged-up glass surfaces.  You learn something new every day.


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.

Attached Media Files: Get Tested , DCCRT
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