Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team - Daily Local Update - April10, 2020

Douglas Co. Government

(Douglas County, Ore.)
  According to Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer, our Public Health Official we are starting to see a flattening of the curve for the spread of the coronavirus in Oregon and Douglas County.  But, that is not a signal to relax any of the “Stay Home, Save Lives,” orders from Oregon’s Governor.  We encourage you to continue to stay home, stay vigilant in your people distancing, wash your hands regularly, cover your cough and sneezes and maintain your overall health.  Please stay the course and be a partner in the plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Local COVID-19 Test Results

As of 12:00 p.m., April 10, 2020, there are no new cases of COVID-19 in Douglas County. The number of positive cases stands at twelve total in the county.  Of the twelve positives, four have recovered, and there have been zero deaths and 470 negative tests for COVID-19 locally. Douglas Public Health Network continues their epidemiologic investigations, identifying individuals who may have had close contact with individuals that have tested positive for COVID-19 and advising quarantine. Four of the individuals who tested positive earlier have now recovered. DPHN defines recovery as an end to all symptoms after a positive test for COVID-9.

The next drive-through COVID-19 clinic led by DPHN is scheduled for today, Friday, April 10.  There will be another drive-through clinic in Reedsport on Saturday, April 11. At this time, you can only get a COVID-19 test through your healthcare provider. Residents must be identified by their health care provider, as a patient that is symptomatic, and needs to be tested.  Information has been given to providers and clinics about how to get their patients signed up for the drive-through testing clinics. 

If you want to be tested, you must talk to your health care provider.  Tests are currently being processed at the Oregon State Public Health Lab and a growing number of commercial labs, like Quest and LabCorp. There are a few outpatient clinics in Douglas County offering testing at this time. Community health partners are working very hard to make testing available to a wider number of people. The first drive thru testing site was piloted in the county on March 17, 2020, there have been 238 people tested so far in the drive through clinics. The drive through clinics are led by DPHN, in conjunction with partner agencies including; Douglas County Board of Commissioners, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas County Public Works, local volunteers and local health professionals.

Oregon COVID-19 Case Update

Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website at  The Oregon Health Authority is also releasing the daily situation status report, which is produced jointly with Oregon Office of Emergency Management. It details the overall picture of the COVID-19 outbreak within the state and the response across government agencies. Read more here about the daily situation status report.

Federal Officials Say Stimulus Payments Are Expected Within Days

Taxpayers should begin receiving their federal stimulus payments starting next week, federal officials said this week. The payments are intended to help relieve the financial burden on individuals caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most U.S. adults with a Social Security number will receive a payment, as long as no one else can claim them as a dependent and they fall within income limits. If you have direct deposit set up with the IRS, the money will appear in your bank account as soon as next week, White House officials said. If you don’t, a check will be mailed to the address on file. Those receiving paper checks will have to wait a bit longer; the checks will go out later this month. Individuals with adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 for single filers and $150,000 for married filers will receive payments of $1,200 for singles and $2,400 for married couples filing joint returns. In addition, there will be payments of $500 for each qualifying child. People with higher incomes may be eligible for reduced payments.

Eligible retirees and recipients of Social Security, disability or veterans’ benefits, as well as taxpayers who do not make enough money to file a tax return, will receive a payment. The IRS warns taxpayers to be on the lookout for scam artists who may try to take advantage of this new program. The IRS will never call you, text you, email you or contact you on social media asking for personal or bank account information. Beware of emails with attachments or links claiming to contain special information about stimulus payments or refunds.

Thank You, Thank You Public Health!

This week is National Public Health Week, and we’d like to recognize the round-the-clock hard work Douglas County’s public health employees have been doing to keep the community safe and work in conjunction with our Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team to provide the public with accurate, up-to-date information about COVID-19.

Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer, our Douglas County Public Health Officer, has been the face of local public health efforts. He has offered frequent Facebook Live briefings to provide updates and answer questions in real time. In addition, he was a driving force behind the creation of the drive-thru COVID-19 testing station at the Fairgrounds – a measure that put Douglas County a step ahead of many other counties.

“We are incredibly blessed and fortunate to have Dr. Dannenhoffer as our Public Health Officer, he is utilizing his immense expertise in guiding our public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Commissioner Tim Freeman said.

Dannenhoffer urged community members to continue taking measures to slow the spread of the virus. “Physical (social) distancing, staying home when you’re sick, washing your hands, wearing masks when you’re in public really works,” he said. “Now is not the time to slack.”  He praised his colleagues at DPHN, calling them “the world’s best public health staff.”

Teresa Mutschler, Medical Director of DPHN, who has been co-leading the Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team that is coordinating the County’s COVID-19 response, stated, “Local public health staff have been working around the clock during this pandemic. They have been actively doing core epidemiology activities like contacting those people in our county that have tested positive, tracing their contacts, standing up one of the only public health sponsored drive through testing centers in the state, providing correct health education information about COVID-19 and releasing numbers of cases consistently and daily. We have some of the best public health staff in the state and have been getting calls from all over the state and nation about our fine work.  It feels great to lead this incredible team, join me in celebrating these local public health heroes on the front line.”   

Douglas County Health Officer Appointed to Governor Brown’s COVID-19 Medical Advisory Panel

Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer, Douglas Public Health Officer has been appointed to Governor Kate Brown’s Medical Advisory Panel. Brown convened the first meeting of her COVID-19 Medical Advisory Panel on Tuesday, a group of doctors, infectious disease experts and medical professionals from across the state who will review the status of COVID-19 in the state and make recommendations to the governor on future response efforts.  Recognizing that this is a challenge unlike any Oregon’s medical community has ever faced, the advisors have been asked to comment on the needs of Oregon’s health care system, provide advice and input to the governor, and serve as a resource to the Oregon Health Authority. The panel will be an avenue for Oregon’s provider community to give regular, organized input and feedback about the state’s COVID-19 response.

The panel will meet twice weekly and review Oregon’s response efforts in the areas of testing capacity, hospital capacity, personal protective equipment acquisition, and the continued effectiveness of Oregon’s social distancing measures. The panel members will help to develop strategies to address pressing needs, identify potential gaps and challenges, and give feedback from the front lines of Oregon's health care response to COVID-19.

Tips for Celebrating Easter at Home

Easter is this Sunday, and although circumstances don’t allow large groups of family and friends to get together, there are many ways to keep tradition alive and have special celebrations at home.

After all, the Easter Bunny is not in quarantine! Here are some ideas:
•           Watch Easter services online. Many churches are offering virtual services.
•           Color Easter eggs, and have an Easter egg hunt indoors or in your own backyard.
•           Let your kids decorate the house; it’s a great way for them to get creative.
•           Cook virtually with friends and loved ones. Turn on Zoom, Facetime or another video conferencing app and chat away while you cook!
•           Call to check in on loved ones who may be feeling lonely.
•           Don’t feel like cooking? Support a local restaurant by ordering takeout or delivery. Plan ahead and call first to make sure they’ll be open.
•           Find a way to give back. Giving lifts the spirit; seek out creative ways to brighten someone’s day while maintaining social distancing.

Tonight, on Good Friday, the world-famous Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square will stream its 2018 performance of Handel’s “Messiah” at 6 p.m. Pacific time. After that, the performance will be available online.

Stay Informed with the Accurate Information

Your Douglas County Board of Commissioners, Douglas County Public Health Officer, Dr. Robert Dannenhoffer and the Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team have been working hard to cooperatively provide accurate and timely information and a response to Douglas County residents. If you have questions about resources available, call the COVID-19 hotline, staffed by local volunteers at (541) 464-6550.  Stay up to date on COVID-19 in Douglas County on the DPHN website at  Find additional information on state, federal and international COVID-19 response from the following websites: Oregon Health AuthorityCenters for Disease Control, World Health Organization and by calling or logging onto 211Info.