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News Release
DCCRT Special Report
DCCRT Special Report
Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team - Special Update - October 15, 2020 (Photo) - 10/15/20

JOINT INFORMATION CENTER PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 15, 2020

 Douglas County Covid-19 Response Team – Special Report

“Douglas County Residents, You Are the Key to Our COVID Success Story”

 

(Douglas County, Ore.) It has been a few months since the DCCRT team has issued a special report.  But, with cases on the rise once again in our county and around the globe, we knew it was time to once again take a moment to have another more in depth conversation about this relentless virus.  First and foremost, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners continue to make COVID-19 a top priority, they are fully engaged with dedicated staff, community partners and resources  focused on prevention education; providing weekly testing opportunities; conducting epidemiology investigations and management; acquiring and distributing necessary supplies; supporting our medical partners and continuing to provide our daily updates, as well as hosting our bi-weekly DPHN Facebook Live events featuring Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer, our Douglas County Public Health Officer.  To date, we have issued over 300 COVID updates, that are emailed to a subscription base of about 15,000 people each.  Through DPHN, we have hosted over 65 Facebook Live Q & A events.  Additionally, we have created an array of local informational videos on a myriad of COVID topics that debunk corona myths, answer burning questions and provide some helpful advice for our residents.  Check out the catalog of videos on the DPHN YouTube Channel at: www.youtube.com/channel/UCkrExyC5WDY77gl7irECxLA

 

Let’s begin with a big picture update from Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer.  “This has been an increasing pandemic in the world, in the US, in Oregon and in Douglas County.  I believe this is just the beginning of the much anticipated and feared fall increase. For example, in Douglas County we had been down to three cases in a week at the end of August, but last week we had 31 cases and ten cases yesterday, with almost all of them from different sources.  Unfortunately, I anticipate that these numbers will continue to stay high and possibly increase throughout the rest of the fall season.  But, I believe if we really make a concerted effort to practice personal prevention measures, we can curtail the spread.  The good news is that we have now gotten some rapid antigen testing through the BINAX system, and can distribute those over the next week to area clinics.  Work on COVID vaccines continues, although two of the four that are in phase three trials have now been paused due to side effects.  It appears that Dr. Redfield and Dr. Fauci are likely correct that the vaccine will not be available for wide use until the second or third quarters of 2021.  However, the flu vaccine is in good supply, and we recommend that everyone get vaccinated for flu this year. There will be drive-thru flu clinics on Friday, October 16, Friday, October 30 and Wednesday, November 11 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

 

Last week, we shared a line graph that showed the progression of the virus in Douglas County since our first case was reported on March 8.  The graph tracks our positive test results on a weekly basis.  As you can see, we had a spike in cases in mid-July, but a steady decrease through August.  But, since Labor Day we have experienced a continued upswing in positive test results.  This should be very concerning for everyone as we enter into the busiest social and cold/flu season of the year. 

 

We not only think we have reached a critical juncture with COVID-19 in Douglas County, we know we have.  If we do not take action to stop the spread now, the virus could potentially wreak havoc and residents run the risk of seeing these real life consequences:

  • Friends, family and community members getting needlessly sick, with the real possibility of experiencing long term medical difficulties.
  • Losing more treasured residents to this virus.
  • Not meeting the matrix criteria for all our K-12 and higher education schools open to in-classroom instruction.
  • Continued delays for local sporting activities, band and choir concerts, art classes and school plays.
  • The cancellation of our beloved local music in the park concerts, county fair or festivals again.
  • Hospitals getting over whelmed, restricting surgeries or having to limit access to care.
  • Clinics and medical practices cancelling appointments, minimizing services or being forced to halt services.
  • Local businesses forced to close their doors again, limit menus and hours of operation or possibly close all together. 
  • Access to local agencies and services being curtailed or cut off completely. 
  • Huge devastating economic impacts to our communities. 
  • Food, gas and supply shortages.
  • More layoffs and people out of work.


So, how do we stop the spread of COVID-19 in Douglas County?  The real key to solving the continued spread is, YOU.  It really is true that the spreading of this is preventable.  If each and every individual in our county would make a real concerted effort to follow the recommended COVID health and safety guidelines, we could see a huge decrease in our case numbers.  That means we need each and everyone one of you to make sound choices, evaluate and change how you interact with others and work on implementing COVID safe activities into your daily lives. These measures are not just for your safety, but for the safety of our kids, our grandparents, our coworkers and our businesses.  We know we sound like a broken record, but our primary focus is to do everything we can to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our residents.  Yesterday, we reported a significant spike in new cases.  With the Fall and Winter holidays on the horizon, people trying to plan social activities and parents already expressing remote teaching fatigue, it’s important that everyone get back on track with COVID-19 prevention measures.  The DCCRT team continues to encourage residents to protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities by practicing prevention measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.  Residents can help to protect themselves, their families and their friends by following these simple, basic health and safety precautions:

  • Make a habit of washing and sanitizing your hands.  That means washing after you eat, touch new surfaces, go to the bathroom, go to the store, go to the post office or after a meeting.  Remember also to try to avoid touching your face as much as possible. 
  • Stay at least six feet apart from anyone that is not from your immediate household.  This means paying attention to the distance stickers at the store, the bank, at restaurants and at businesses.  Please be respectful and polite, by giving people ample space.
  • Stay home from work, school and play if you are sick.  This includes not running errands or going shopping or inviting visitors to your home.  If you need help, reach out to friends, family or utilize an app or businesses that offers no contact deliveries.  
  • Minimize travel, especially out of the state and limit visitors to your home.  
  • Wear a mask were recommended.

 

            We wanted to end on a positive note and since we are currently celebrating the season of harvest, where it is common place to give thanks for our blessings, we thought it would be appropriate to talk about the things we are grateful for:

  1. We are grateful for our County leadership for providing guidance through this pandemic storm.
  2. We are thankful for the wealth of local expertise we have available to help address issues and find real local solutions.
  3. We are grateful for the dedicated men and women working on the front lines at our hospitals, medical clinics and care centers who work tirelessly every day saving lives, providing support and caring for our sick or injured.
  4. We are thankful for our devoted law enforcement officers, 911 operators and first responders who continue to answer the call.
  5. We are grateful that we continue to be ranked amongst the lowest counties in the US for COVID cases and deaths.
  6. While we are sad we have lost precious friends and family to this virus, we are thankful that the numbers have been few.
  7. We are thankful for the resilience and resourcefulness of our citizens.
  8. We are grateful for family, friends and our communities for continuing to support each other and find ways to spread joy.

 

            “We know that the past two hundred and seventeen days since our first case was announced have been some of the most trying times of our lives.  But, by working together, we can rewrite the book on the COVID spread in our county, and once again show we are leaders in the fight against this relentless virus.  Please stay safe, cherish your blessings and remember to always be kind to others,” commented Commissioner Tim Freeman. 

 

Stay Informed with Accurate Local Information

Stay up to date on COVID-19 in Douglas County on the Douglas County Government website or the DPHN website.  Your Douglas County Board of Commissioners, Douglas County Public Health Officer, Dr. Robert Dannenhoffer, DPHN and the Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team (DCCRT) have been working hard to cooperatively provide accurate and timely information to Douglas County residents since March 8, 2020.  Our local COVID-19 updates represent the coordinated effort of the agencies that make up the DCCRT. 

 

Douglas County Resource/COVID-19 Hotline: (541) 464-6550:

Douglas County Commissioners and Douglas Public Health Network have added a resource and referral service to the current COVID-19 hotline for Douglas County residents.  The added service will help residents get connected to resources and services due to the local wildfires.  Referral and resource information will be available about local emergency shelters, livestock and animal boarding options, donation locations, volunteer opportunities, welfare check referrals, food and water resources and help with health and wellness questions.  This is NOT the hotline for Fire Updates or Evacuation information.  Please contact or follow DFPA and DCSO for the most up-to-date wildfire information.  The Resource/COVID-19 Hotline is (541) 464-6550.  It is staffed from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, 7 days a week until further notice. 

 

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Contact Tamara Howell, Public Information Officer, Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team, (541) 670-2804 cell/(541) 957-4896 tjhowell@co.douglas.or.us

Contact Vanessa Becker, Public Information Officer, Douglas Public Health Network, (541) 817-6552 cell (541) 440-3571 vanessa@douglaspublichealthnetwork.org

Attached Media Files: DCCRT Special Report
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