Cascades East Transit Implements New Oregon Health Authority Guidelines - Passengers Required to Wear Face Coverings
CET continues to take necessary precautions to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. High-touch surfaces in vehicles and at facilities are disinfected multiple times per day, hand sanitizer is provided in all buses and transit stations, and drivers and passengers are required to wear face coverings. Additionally, CET encourages social distancing between drivers and passengers by blocking off seats, allowing rear-door boardings on our low-floor buses in Bend, and by temporarily suspending fare collection to avoid the exchange of money.
CET is also implementing new transit guidelines released by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) on May 15. High touch surfaces on buses and at facilities are being wiped down every four hours and additional signage and visual cues have been placed on all buses to encourage passengers to stand and sit at least three feet away from other passengers and six feet away from drivers. CET staff are posting maximum occupancy numbers on each bus to ensure adequate social distancing between passengers and drivers and prevent crowding. Extra buses are also being staged to help on routes where buses are getting full; however, passengers should allow extra time when making trips.
Passengers are still required to wear face coverings such as masks, scarves, and bandanas when boarding the bus. Exceptions are being made for children under two years of age and for people with disabilities or with certain health conditions who cannot wear a mask. CET drivers are also required to wear face coverings and they will hand out masks free of charge to customers who do not have one. “We take the cleanliness of our buses and the health and safety of our staff and passengers very seriously, said COIC’s Executive Director, Tammy Baney. Preventing the spread of COVID-19 is a team effort and we want to thank our riders for adhering to both existing and new guidelines when making essential trips such as going to the doctor, pharmacy, a job, or grocery store.” More information about CET’s efforts to help keep our community moving safely can be found at www.cascadeseasttransit.com. OHA COVID-19 updates and guidelines can be found at https://govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19
Update as of 5.15.2020
The “Safe and Strong Oregon” order declared by Gov. Kate Brown addresses gatherings, closure of certain businesses, outdoor activities, and other events and/or activities. (See the full Executive Order 20-25 in detail.)
Community members who witness a violation of the order can utilize the following resources instead of calling 911.
FOR EMPLOYEES REGARDING BUSINESSES:
Oregon OSHA is taking complaints from employees regarding apparent violations of the Governor’s COVID-19 executive order by their employer, in particular social distancing protocol in the workplace. Employees should contact Oregon OSHA if they feel their employer is violating the order: 541-388-6066 or 800-922-2689 (inside Oregon only); email email@example.com; or use the Online report form
FOR GENERAL PUBLIC
Restaurants, Pools and Hotels:
Central Oregon county specific Health Services Environmental Health are responding to complaints of apparent violations of the Governor’s order related to restaurants, pools and hotels. Contact Deschutes County Health Services Environmental Health to report an apparent violation at one of the facilities listed above, at 541-317-3114 or use the Online report form or CountyEnvironmentalHealth@deschutes.org.
Redmond Area Park and Recreation District staff are regularly evaluating the situation and strive to ensure the safety of their staff and community members. Please check their website for updates to programs and services. Community members can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 541-548-7275 if they observe park use that is not allowed.
Those who believe they see a violation of current restrictions order that don’t fit into these descriptions can contact local law enforcement non-emergency at:
• 541-693-6911 for Deschutes County
Individuals may also contact Deschutes County Environmental Health at 541-317-3114, Online report form, or CountyEnvironmentalHealth@deschutes.org.
Update as of 5.11.2020
CLOTH FACE COVERINGS DO’S AND DON’TS
Central Oregon Public Health Departments encourage residents to wear cloth face coverings in public settings when physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores and pharmacies.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cloth face coverings can help to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Cloth face coverings prevent the person wearing the mask from spreading respiratory droplets when talking, sneezing, or coughing. If everyone wears a cloth face covering when out in public, such as going to the grocery store, the risk of exposure to COVID-19 can be reduced for the community. Since someone can spread the virus before symptoms start, or even they never have symptoms, wearing a cloth face covering protects others. Face coverings worn by others can help protect you from getting the virus from people carrying the virus.
When wearing a cloth face covering:
- Wear a covering when you can’t maintain 6 ft of distance from people outside your household (e.g., grocery store, pharmacy.
- Fully cover your mouth and nose with the face covering
- Limit gaps between face and covering
- Wash or sanitize your hands before touching your face or covering
- Remove covering without touching your eyes, mouth, or nose
- Launder covering when not in use, or when soiled
- Continue taking other precautions, like physical distancing and regular hand washing.
- Use someone else’s face covering
- Touch the inside of your face covering
- Share your face covering
- Go out in public if you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, except for medical care.
Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. For children 2-8, cloth face covering should only be worn under adult supervision to ensure that the child can breathe safely and avoid choking or suffocation.
Update as of 5.8.2020
GUIDELINES HELP CYCLISTS, HIKERS, CAMPERS AND MORE RECREATE SAFELY
Central Oregon Emergency Information Network encourages local residents to recreate safely. Those who choose to enjoy the sunshine outdoors should follow these recommendations, developed in partnership with recreation leaders from Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties.
- Trail etiquette is as important as ever now.
- Yield to both hikers and horses on trails.
- Ride/hike from your back door, if possible. (Avoid driving to trailheads.)
- Maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others.
- Visit less crowded areas, visit during off-peak times, and have a back-up plan.
- Be nice, say hi!
- Visit less crowded areas, visit during off-peak times, and have a back-up plan.
- Keep at least 6 feet between you and other Oregnians enjoying the outdoors.
- Sustain fish and wildlife habitat by avoiding or minimizing activity along eroding stream and lake banks and other unstable areas.
- Launch on boat at a time to ensure other ORegonians have enough space to launch safely and securely.
- Offer a wide berth when passing and say a friendly, “hello.”
- Go solo or only with members of your household. No groups and go single file.
- Visit less crowded areas, visit during off-peak times and have a back-up plan.
- Check what’s open before leaving home. Your favorite trail may remain closed, or need to be closed on a temporary basis.
- Stay 6 feet from others.
- Check what’s open before leaving home. Your favorite camp site may remain closed, or need to be closed on a temporary basis.
- Leave no trace, and pack out what you pack in.
- It is wildfire season. Please remain safe and vigilant to ensure forest health and safety. Do not start fires in undesignated areas.
- Check if your campground or park allows outdoor fires before you strike a match. If permitted, make sure you are building a campfire properly and that you have water or an extinguisher on hand.
- Before you leave, ensure the campfire is out. If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.
Update as of 5.4.2020
ST. CHARLES HEALTH SYSTEM REQUIRING UNIVERSAL MASKING
Beginning Monday, May 4, St. Charles Health System is now requiring any persons entering a St. Charles hospital or clinic to wear a mask, to prevent the asymptomatic spread of COVID-19. Patients and visitors are encouraged to bring their own mask, but one will be provided if needed.
NEW UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE
(graphic) The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program is open and accepting applications. Self-employed, contract, and gig workers not eligible for regular unemployment benefits who are filing for the first time should use the instructions and initial application form to complete their first claim. For more information and links to PAU applications visit https://govstatus.egov.com/ui-benefits/CARES
Update as of 4.28.2020
Mayors from Bend and Redmond to Host Weekly Virtual Press Availability Events on Local COVID-19 Response Efforts
Recognizing there is a vital need for real-time information regarding Bend and Redmond’s efforts to respond to the ever-changing circumstances of COVID-19, Mayors George Endicott from Redmond and Sally Russell from Bend have joined together to host weekly press conferences intended to inform the public about their efforts as they work on behalf of their communities.
The cities will host virtual press conferences on Thursdays at 11 a.m. beginning April 30. These events provide an informal setting exclusively for the members of the media to interact with City officials and ask questions regarding emerging topics.
UPCOMING FIREFREE YARD DEBRIS RECYCLING EVENT May 9-24
Wildfire season is quickly approaching and Central Oregon has had a drier than average winter this year. Due to the dry winter, our area is seeing low fuel moisture levels and the long term forecast looks like we could have an early fire season in the Pacific Northwest. This means we have an elevated risk of larger fires in our area so Central Oregon fire personnel are already gearing up for a busy fire season.
COVID-19 could create some increased challenges to our fire season. Keeping wildland firefighters healthy and adhering to social distancing through this wildland season may be difficult. The goal will be to keep wildland fires small and focus on prevention efforts.
Now is the time to clean up your yards, create defensible spaces around homes and recycle that debris at FireFree collection sites FOR FREE May 9- 24 in Redmond at the Negus Transfer Station, Monday - Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; 2400 NE Maple Way, Redmond
Residents are asked to wear masks when they drop off their yard debris and to keep an appropriate space between themselves and other vehicles.
Update as of 4.24.2020
SUICIDE PREVENTION RESOURCES AVAILABLE
Deschutes County Health Services shared suicide prevention resources today. According to the local public health authority, suicide is the most preventable form of death and something we can all do to help prevent suicide is to promote resources in our community.
- Deschutes County Crisis Line: 541-322-7500 x9
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
- Central Oregon Suicide Prevention Alliance’s Resource page: www.preventsuicideco.org
- Individuals age 55 or older and feeling isolated or just want to have a friendly conversation, call the Senior Loneliness Line at 503-200-1633
Individuals age 21 or younger and want support for any problem, big or small, text teen2teen to 839863 or call YouthLine at 1-877-968-8491.
POISON CONTROL HOSTS DISINFECTANTS Q&A NEXT WEEK; REMINDERS ABOUT CLEANERS, UNAUTHORIZED MEDICINE
Rumors persist about off-label use of disinfectants and unauthorized medical treatments for COVID-19. The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), The National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC), Oregon Poison Center, and Virginia Poison Center will host a “disinfectants Q&A” via Facebook on April 30, 2020 at 2pm ET. From the AAPCC: “As Americans navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces continues to be an important part of preventing the spread. It can be difficult to determine the difference between facts and myths regarding COVID-19.” The Q&A will mitigate this issue by providing tips for how to use disinfectants safely and effectively to prevent the spread of disease.
Questions or concerns about possible ingestion of unknown or possibly dangerous substances should be directed to call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 or visit PoisonHelp.org.
Centers for Disease Control guidance for disinfectants is at: Cleaning And Disinfecting Your Home.
Oregon Poison Center at Oregon Health Sciences University recommends the following:
There are no supplements, medications or remedies that are known to be effective in treating or preventing COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. More details in March 25 statement: Oregon Poison Center at OHSU warns against dangerous COVID-19 remedies circulating on social media.
Update as of 4.23.2020
GOV. KATE BROWN LIFTS RESTRICTIONS ON HOSPITALS, MAKING MORE ELECTIVE SURGERIES POSSIBLE
Gov. Kate Brown announced today that her executive order limiting elective surgical procedures will be lifted May 1 provided that hospitals are able to meet certain COVID-19 preparedness criteria.
The change will allow St. Charles Health System hospitals and others around the state to slowly begin ramping up the number of surgeries performed, as long as the hospitals maintain an adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and maintain open-bed capacity at or above 20 percent to accommodate a potential surge in COVID-19 patients.
This is good news for Central Oregon patients who have been dealing with difficult health situations while waiting for a safe time to receive care. St. Charles received some shipments of PPE last week and currently has adequate critical resources on hand.
The governor’s new executive order also stipulates that, to start, hospitals will be able to perform up to 50 percent of their pre-pandemic volume and will be required to review and prioritize cases based on indication and urgency. Some surgeries that require critical resources will continue to be postponed.
While the governor characterized the change as an important move for Oregonians whose quality of life has been impacted by the delayed surgeries—and for hospitals and health systems who have seen their revenues decline—she cautioned that the state will monitor and adapt its guidance as needed.
Since COVID-19 first appeared in Oregon, St. Charles hospitals have been performing up to 25 surgeries daily that were either considered urgent or fell within the exceptions of the governor’s prior executive order regarding elective surgeries. The kinds of surgeries performed varied, but all had the common caveat that a delay in moving forward with them would cause significant harm to the patient.
St. Charles formed a group of experts, called the Limited Elective Procedure Panel (LEPP), to evaluate requests for elective surgeries. The LEPP—which is led by clinical leaders throughout the health system—will remain in place to continue making decisions about which surgeries can be done.
Update as of 4.14.2020
ST. CHARLES BEGINS DRIVE-THROUGH SPECIMEN COLLECTION
Starting Thursday, April 14, St. Charles Health System will begin offering a drive-through specimen collection service for COVID-19 testing outside of the St. Charles Family Care clinic at 2600 NE Neff Road in Bend. Those taking advantage of this service must have a provider’s order and call 541-699-5107 to schedule an appointment. The ordering provider does not have to be employed by or affiliated with St. Charles. Individuals who do not have a provider’s order will be referred to their primary care provider, or to an Immediate Care or Urgent Care clinic for evaluation. Initially, the drive-through will be open weekdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Reminder: St. Charles’ Emergency Departments are open to treat patients
Update as of 4.10.2020
HUNTING AND FISHING LIMITED
As hunting and fishing seasons begin the Forest Service wants the public to know that hunting and fishing is permitted in undeveloped areas on national forest lands in accordance with state laws; however all developed recreation sites on the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and the Crooked River National Grassland are closed in response to COVID-19. The forest closure order includes boat ramps. Individuals going fishing should ensure they can enter and exit the water safely. Please be aware that emergencies may strain local resources; search and rescue volunteers may be unavailable, and response times may be slower than usual to protect first responders.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is also limiting hunting and fishing. Non Oregon residents may no longer participate in these activities in Oregon. The restriction extends until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and it is deemed safe to travel into Oregon.
While seasons remain open in Oregon (except for Columbia River salmon/steelhead fishing), resident hunters and anglers should not be travelling to participate. ODFW is hearing concerns from rural communities about people visiting to hunt and fish and placing additional burdens on these communities’ limited resources.
Learn more online at https://www.dfw.state.or.us/news/2020/04_April/040920.asp
Update as of 4.8.2020
GOV. BROWN EXTENDS SCHOOL CLOSURE ORDER
Today, Gov. Kate Brown announced that students will not return to school campuses this school year. The extended closure is an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep the state safe and healthy. Local K-12 school districts are expected to continue to provide education for students using remote means. The Governor outlined a plan to allow seniors to graduate on time.
EMERGENCY RESPONDERS DON MASKS
(photo) Public safety officers, law enforcement and fire personnel in Deschutes County will be following the recommendations from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that individuals wear cloth face coverings in public settings where physical distancing is difficult to maintain. Local residents may see these masks when public emergency responders are on calls for service as well as when they are in public areas, such as grocery stores. These masks do not indicate emergency responders are sick or are showing any signs or symptoms of any illness, but rather indicates that they are following recommendations to ensure the health and welfare of themselves, the public, and their families.
SHORT TERM RENTAL ENFORCEMENT
(photo) On Monday, the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners determined how the County will enforce its recent order prohibiting short term rental stays of less than 30 days in rural, unincorporated areas of the County.
The order, which is intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by limiting non-essential travel, does not apply to short term rentals in the cities of Bend, La Pine, Redmond and Sisters. It includes short term rentals in Black Butte Ranch, Eagle Crest, Pronghorn, Sunriver, Tetherow and other rentals in the rural, unincorporated areas of Deschutes County.
Effective Friday, April 10, renters and property owners who violate the short-term rental order may be subject to either criminal prosecution as a Class C misdemeanor under a public health order or a civil code enforcement penalty of up to $1,000 per day. The civil code enforcement penalty can be imposed against adults renting a property and/or adults with an ownership interest (other than a security interest) in the rental property.
Read more on the Deschutes County webpage. https://www.deschutes.org/bcc/page/commissioners-determine-enforcement-short-term-rental-ban
Update as of 4.6.2020
The CDC now recommends wearing a cloth mask in “public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain,” such as grocery stores, workplaces, restaurants and interactions with others outside of your home, etc.
CDC advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Update as of 4.2.2020
As of April 1, 2020 Deschutes County has 27 confirmed COVID-19 cases. With a surge in cases expected to intensify later this month, officials across the region are urging people to take steps to reduce the spread of contamination to alleviate pressures on our hospitals. Consistent with this approach, the City of Redmond owned Redmond Municipal Airport (RDM) will immediately begin encouraging all airport passengers to do a 14-day in home self-quarantine upon arrival in Central Oregon.
With the virus spreading more each day, this recommendation is being made regardless of the originating airport. RDM is currently experience a 90% reduction in travelers passing through the terminal, down from a daily average of 1,500.
Individuals who develop symptoms during their voluntarily self-quarantine should contact their medical provider immediately. For general questions about the virus and/or symptoms call the free COVID-19 non-emergency hotline at 541-699-5109, open from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. The hotline connects callers with caregivers and county health professionals.
This recommendation is another important measure to protect the health and safety of our community.
As of March 23, Governor Kate Brown issued an Executive Order 2020-12, which calls for all Oregonians (and visitors) to Stay Home/Stay Alive.
City of Redmond has closed all City-owned buildings, city parks and playgrounds, the Redmond Skate Park, Bicycle Pump Track, tennis/pickleball courts, and playground equipment at all City park locations are closed until further notice. Juniper Golf Course remains open. These closures are consistent with the Governor’s Order requiring the “immediate closure of all pools, skate parks, outdoor sports courts, and playground equipment areas.” All city-owned buildings will continue to be closed to public access until further notice.
The Central Oregon Health Council Launches Resource Directory - 3.30.2020
The Central Oregon Health Council has a new Central Oregon Resource Directory available at https://www.centraloregonresources.org/ to provide centralized information. With featured resources like food and supplies, transportation and delivery, this new website includes resources for Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties. Information includes general services, community specific services and links to organizations providing services. The site is brand new and more resources are being added daily. If you know of a resource that is not listed there, please visit CentralOregonResources.org and click “Submit a Resource.”
The site also features a news feed where visitors can sign up for daily updates.