The latest news stories in the Rogue Valley and around the state of Oregon from RogueValleyMagazine.com
Monday, April 6, 2020
Rogue Valley Weather
A 20% chance of showers during the day, high near 59. Snow level 3200 feet rising to 4600 feet. Calm wind becoming northwest around 6 mph in the afternoon. Overnight partly cloudy, low around 40.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 66. Calm wind.
Sunny, with a high near 71.
Sunny, with a high near 74.
Sunny, with a high near 72.
As of Sunday, Jackson County, Josephine County, and Klamath County Health officials are all announcing new cases of the Coronavirus.
Jackson County Public Health has four new cases of COVID-19, bringing the countywide total to 37 cases. Of those 37 cases, the county is reporting that 19 of them are male and 18 of them are female. No one in Jackson County has died from the virus.
Jackson County is urging people to stay at home as much as possible, to only go out for essentials such as groceries and medical care. They remind people to follow proper social distancing guidelines and to stay 6 feet away from one another.
Total number of confirmed cases by county for the southern Oregon region:
- Jackson: 37
- Klamath: 15 total confirmed cases. 14 active cases, 1 case in recovery.
- Josephine: 14
The Oregon Health Authority is announcing 69 new cases, bringing the statewide total to 1,068 cases.
The new cases being reported by the OHA are in the following counties: Clackamas (6), Columbia (3), Klamath (1), Lane (3), Linn (2), Marion (10), Multnomah (24), Polk (2), Sherman (1), Umatilla (2), Washington (12), Yamhill (3).
The OHA is also reporting one new death from COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths in Oregon to 27. The Oregon Health Authority says it was a 62-year-old female in Multnomah County, who tested positive on April 2, 2020, and died on April 2, 2020, in her residence. It is unknown at this time if she had underlying medical conditions.
Oregon’s 23rd COVID-19 death is a 65-year-old man in Marion County, who tested positive on March 26, 2020, and died on April 2, 2020, at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center. He had underlying medical conditions.
Oregon’s 24th COVID-19 death is a 59-year-old man in Multnomah County, who tested positive on March 24, 2020, and died on April 3, 2020, at his residence. He had underlying medical conditions.
Oregon’s 25th COVID-19 death is a 77-year-old woman in Multnomah County, who tested positive on March 30, 2020, and died on April 2, 2020, at her residence. She had underlying medical conditions.
Oregon’s 26th COVID-19 death is a 64-year-old woman in Multnomah County, who tested positive on March 23, 2020, and died on April 1, 2020, at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center. She had underlying medical conditions.
Oregon’s 27th COVID-19 death was a 62-year-old Multnomah County woman who tested positive April 2 and died the same day in her residence, according to OHA. It was not known Sunday if she had underlying medical conditions.
The American Red Cross is urging citizens who are not presently working to donate blood as coronavirus lockdowns have resulted in a drastic reduction in blood donations.
Additional safety measures are being implemented to assure the health of donors.
Appointments are required in order to maintain proper social distancing requirements. Rebecca O’Rourke, account manager for American Red Cross PNW says they have lost thousands of blood donations due to COVID-19 across the states and need healthy individuals to give blood as soon as possible, and we are setting up in stationary locations to help us with additional sanitization practices, and taking extra steps to ensure we see only healthy donors.
Due to quickly changing circumstances surrounding the spread of COVID-19 and resulting artist schedule changes, Britt Music & Arts Festival has decided to postpone its third 2020 Britt Presents Announcement and several announced concerts.
Britt is also delaying the opening date for the 2020 season. The first concert of the season will be the Best of Britt: Happy Together Tour on July 9th. Britt is working with artists who were originally scheduled to perform in June rescheduling concert dates to later in the season.
The Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals concert has been rescheduled to Aug. 22. Britt is optimistic that other artists originally scheduled in June will be rescheduled for late summer and is currently working closely with the artists to establish new dates.
Britt will inform ticketholders as soon as the new dates are confirmed. Due to scheduling conflicts, Tanya Tucker is unable to reschedule.
Please Refrain from Conducting Outdoor Burning
In response to the “Stay Home, Save Lives” Executive Order to reduce the effects of the COVID-19 virus, a coalition of Oregon state agencies are asking Oregonians to voluntarily refrain from conducting outdoor burning.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office (OSFM), Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) recognize that many Oregonians use fire as a necessary tool to manage their lands, including industrial forest landowners, farmers, small woodland owners, and rural residents. However, it’s important to weigh possible effects on the wider community before choosing to burn. Please be a good neighbor.
Smoke from fires during the current pandemic may result in the following negative consequences for the public and first responders:
- Smoke inhalation can cause upper respiratory symptoms, which could be incorrectly attributed to COVID-19, leading to unnecessary testing or self-isolation.
- Exposure to smoke and other forms of air pollution can increase the risk of contracting infectious respiratory disease such as COVID-19, increase the severity of existing respiratory infections, and worsen underlying chronic respiratory conditions.
- There is a severe shortage of personal protective equipment to reduce smoke exposure at this time.
- First responders and other emergency services are operating at a reduced capacity and have limited resources to respond to out-of-control burns.
COVID-19 affects the respiratory system. Fever, cough and difficulty breathing are the most common symptoms. While some people with COVID-19 are hospitalized, most patients recover at home, where smoke from a nearby outdoor burn could worsen their condition. To avoid additional health impacts, all people in Oregon are asked to voluntarily refrain from conducting outdoor burning activities until further notice.
Burning that can be delayed includes:
- Debris burning around one’s property
- Burn barrels
- Industrial burning
- Slash and forest burning
- Agricultural burning that would impact neighbors and can be delayed
Local officials may already have prohibited outdoor burning in your area. If you must conduct outdoor burning, please first check with your local fire agency to see if outdoor burning is still allowed. If it is, please follow best burn practices, which can be found on the website of the Office of the State Fire Marshall.
DEQ, ODF, OSFM, and ODA encourage the public to use the following alternatives to burning when available:
- Recycle paper products when possible
- Compost or chip yard debris on site
- Haul to a yard debris composting or recycling site
- Reuse old lumber
For more information, visit:
OHA COVID-19 website – https://govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19
This is a rapidly evolving situation. The latest COVID-19 response and protocols information is available at the Oregon Health Authority | COVID 19 Updates webpage. Additional information can be found on the CDC website.
Business Loan Programs
The rapidly evolving response to coronavirus is having a major impact on American businesses and workers as many workplaces shut down, either out of necessity or an abundance of caution.
For southern Oregon in particular, the good news is that many small businesses were already eligible for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
The Oregon congressional delegation has lobbied the SBA to support the state’s request for a SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration for all counties in Oregon, which would provide resources to businesses that face closures and lay-offs due to the coronavirus response.
With recent news that federal authorities may recommend wearing masks in public, Oregon Health Authority is reminding Oregonians that staying home and avoiding all non-essential contact with others continues to be the most important thing that anyone can do to stay healthy and keep others healthy.
“And during moments where people must go out of the house, they should stay at least 6 feet apart from others at all times,” the agency said. Before deciding whether to wear a mask, Oregon Health Authority recommends people keep two considerations central:
- Medical masks should be reserved for health care providers who are on the front lines working with patients most likely to have COVID-19. We have had shortages of those masks – and it’s critically important that our health care workers have the equipment they need to do their jobs.
- Non-medical mask use (e.g., homemade fabric masks) does not replace the need to follow guidance to stay home and limit our contact with others. It does not replace frequent handwashing, avoiding touching the face, and staying away from people who are ill. These are the most important steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 illness.
“We continue to stress that medical masks are essential for health care workers who are in close contact with someone who has COVID-19,” said Paul Cieslak, MD, medical director for communicable diseases, OHA Public Health Division. “We need to preserve supplies of medical masks for our health care workers so they can stay safe as they work to keep all of us healthy. For the general public, homemade fabric masks, especially if well-made and well-fitting, may provide some benefit.”
Wearing a fabric mask can help prevent the spread of infection to others when the mask is worn by someone who already is infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, particularly if the person is coughing. The mask may block some infectious droplets from spreading when someone with the infection coughs, sneezes and, to a lesser degree, speaks.
“The data do not tell us how much protection homemade cloth masks provide to the person wearing a homemade mask. For this reason, homemade and fabric masks should not be considered reliable protection; but they may provide some benefit,” said Cieslak. “Above all, we continue to stress that the reliable tool we have right now to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is strict social distancing – as outlined in Governor Brown’s ‘Stay Home, Save Lives’ orders.”
Blue Zones Project, Oregon – “Tips for Working From Home”
In the spirit of supporting our organizations across the state as many offices navigate a transition to remote work and virtual meetings, Blue Zones Project wants to provide you a few helpful tips for working from home:
- Set up a designated work area and working schedule.
It can be hard to ‘turn off’ from a day at work when your living and working space are the same. Be sure to designate a space for work equipment and time on the clock to ensure you still maintain a work-life balance. Be sure to turn off work notifications when you’re done working for the day.
- Wake up and get ready for the day as usual.
Be sure to wake up with enough time to continue your morning routine and get in the right headspace for work. Sleeping in and not giving yourself enough transition time can make your morning feel rushed and stressful. Don’t forget to include a healthy breakfast!
- Continue to take regular breaks.
Taking time for a short walk, standing up for a few minutes and having a scheduled lunch break are important to your routine and can ensure that you’re downshifting just enough to refocus and complete your work in a timely manner. Microbreaks, such as resting the eyes for 60 seconds, are made easy by this free Chrome extension, Break Timer.
- Communicate to people in your household when you are working and request quiet time.
It can be easy to be distracted by family members at home, chores that need to be done and other everyday things. Be sure to communicate with your family when you need quiet time for working and conference calls to decrease stress.