Emergency Declaration Extended to May 5

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Sponsored by: Board of Commissioners

Emergency declaration extended to continue supporting public health response

 

Marni Kuyl

The Washington County Board of Commissioners voted April 21 to extend until May 5 the county’s prior declaration of emergency regarding the response to the new coronavirus. The new emergency declaration provides the maximum two-week period of continuation allowed under the county’s emergency ordinance. 

The new declaration continues the authorizations, support for coordination and other actions from the prior declaration adopted on April 7. The board first declared an emergency on March 4, just after the county’s first case of COVID-19 was discovered. 

“This March 23rd order that we are all following – we are all staying home to save lives – has prevented as many as 18,000 COVID infections,” said Department of Health and Human Services Director Marni Kuyl during her staff briefing to the Board of Commissioners. The briefing can be streamed from the county’s YouTube channel

The county’s emergency operations center (EOC) also activated soon after the first case of new coronavirus was reported on February 28. The coordinating center serves to support public health operations and to coordinate the multi-agency response to the outbreak. Over 100 staff and representatives from several community partners have been working in the EOC since that time, using appropriate social distancing. County staff continues to collaborate with community partners and other jurisdictions to collectively slow the spread of this new disease.   

Objectives for the Washington County EOC include:

  • Continued coordination around community-wide compliance with Governor Kate Brown’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” order;
  • Planning for the eventual implementation of the governor’s Framework for Reopening Oregon in Washington County;
  • Preparing for increased testing and expanded isolation and quarantine of COVID-19 cases following the lifting of the governor’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” order;
  • Supporting public health tracking, monitoring and support of households where positive cases have been reported;
  • Developing and implementing strategies to slow disease spread in long-term care and other congregate housing facilities, at migrant farmworker work sites and in other community settings that are disproportionately impacted;
  • Resources to assist health care providers for patient care; 
  • Ensuring that all EOC sections incorporate equity considerations and prioritize support to vulnerable populations and marginalized communities;
  • Assessing and monitoring the impacts to essential needs with a focus on vulnerable populations and marginalized communities and coordinating with community-based organizations to develop and implement strategies to address identified gaps and connect people in need with resources;
  • Assessing and monitoring the behavioral health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and developing strategies to address gaps and improve overall mental health and well-being; and
  • Supporting and coordinating countywide and regional recovery from the pandemic by initiating efforts to recover county costs through state and federal disaster assistance programs and connecting businesses and individuals with economic assistance programs. 

The public is reminded to follow Governor Kate Brown’s statewide “Stay Home, Save Lives” order and recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These simple steps can save lives by to slowing the spread of COVID-19:

Wash your hands well and often; 

  • Cough and sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue; 
  • Stay home unless traveling to get food, medicine or other necessary items, or if your job is considered critical and must be done in-person;
  • Cancel any gatherings, conferences or non-essential meetings; 
  • Avoid social and other gatherings; 
  • Increase the physical space between each other in workplaces and other settings as appropriate; and
  • Wear a cloth face covering when in public and unable to ensure appropriate physical distancing.

Health officials also ask that the public stay informed and educated through trustworthy sources of information, such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Oregon Health Authority and Washington County Public Health Division

General questions about COVID-19 can be answered by calling 2-1-1. Questions about your specific medical needs should be directed to your health care provider.

Media Contacts:

Media Contacts:

Philip Bransford, County Administrative Office Communications Officer,
503-846-8685
Philip_Bransford@co.washington.or.us 

Wendy Gordon, Health and Human Services Department Communications Coordinator/PIO
503-849-9117 
EOC-PIO-LEAD@co.washington.or.us