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News Release
Curry County begins transfer of public health programs to OHA May 2 - 04/29/21

April 29, 2021

Media contacts:

Jonathan Modie, Oregon Health Authority, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@state.or.us

Commissioner Court Boice, Curry County, 541-247-3229, oicec@co.curry.or.us">boicec@co.curry.or.us

Curry County begins transfer of public health programs to OHA May 2

OHA to continue some services after county resolutions on April 28

PORTLAND, Ore.—Oregon Health Authority is preparing to provide some public health services in Curry County after the county’s Board of Commissioners yesterday approved an amended resolution to transfer its local public health authority to the state agency. Both parties also agreed to mutually terminate the county’s agreements with OHA.

The termination of the county’s agreements with OHA is effective May 2, 2021. A date for transferring public health authority to OHA has yet to be determined.

“I’m very happy that Curry County is entering a new era in public health for our citizens,” said Commissioner Court Boice. “We have been working closely with OHA to ensure a smooth transition and look forward to a strong future partnership.”

By law —ORS 431.382—the county is authorized to pass a resolution to transfer authority to OHA. Legally, the transfer is not required to occur for 180 days. However, due to staffing limitations within Curry County, the county and OHA agreed to terminate their agreements related to public health services beginning May 2 to allow OHA to assume responsibility for continuing services it is statutorily obligated to provide to protect the public’s health, including:

  • Monitoring communicable diseases and controlling outbreaks, including the COVID-19 pandemic response.
  • Ensuring access to safe drinking water.
  • Ensuring access to WIC services.
  • Licensing and inspecting food, pool and lodging facilities.

Over the next several weeks, Curry County and OHA will work to ensure a smooth transition for remaining program responsibilities and will communicate with county residents about when and where to receive services.

“We recognize the Curry County Board of Commissioners has the legal ability to transfer local public health authority to OHA. We will work closely with the board and its staff during the shift from local to state provision of public health services,” said Rachael Banks, M.P.A., director of the OHA Public Health Division.

“We will thoroughly examine and address any potential gaps in public health services that have been provided in the county,” she said.

In response to the county’s decision, the Public Health Division has convened staff representatives from across the division to plan for and communicate about the transition, including sharing information with local partners, clients and the general public.

View more news releases from Oregon Health Authority.