Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team - Daily Local Update - April 16, 2020

Douglas Co. Government

(Douglas County, Ore.)  We have received a lot of questions about hospitalization and what the capacity is for our residents and those around Oregon during the COVID-19 crisis.  We hope this information will help with those questions.  Of the 23 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Douglas County, five people have required hospitalization at various hospitals, and only two of those patients remain hospitalized, as of today.  Mercy Medical Center has created a special COVID-19 unit in a separate building that has 30 patient rooms. The unit also includes six ICU beds, which is in addition to Mercy’s 16 regular ICU beds. Due to the relative low number of cases, the wing has yet to be utilized. “It’s available and ready to go if we need it,” hospital spokeswoman Kathleen Nickel said.

"Mercy is prepared to safely care for all patients in our community,” said Mercy’s Chief Medical Officer, Jason Gray, MD. “We know that COVID-19 is serious and that our community is worried, but we've taken numerous steps to protect both our staff and our patients. We are screening all patients and staff, have limited visitors to only a very few and are following the CDCs protocols for ensuring safe care.   We want to encourage patients that have current medical needs that are unrelated to COVID-19 to not delay care, waiting may only make their health issue worse."

To put the numbers into perspective, of the 4.2 million residents in Oregon, there are 307 suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients that are currently being hospitalized, as of today.  According to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) only about a third of those have been confirmed. But, with the ambiguity with some of the testing, that has number has not been confirmed. They will continue to err on the side of caution, and keep the full 307 hospitalized.  Eighty-nine suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients are in ICUs, and 43 are on ventilators.  As far as the availability of beds for COVID-19 patients, OHA confirmed that as of today there are: 818 adult ICU beds in Oregon hospitals, 287 of those ICU beds are currently available and 794 available ventilators.

Local COVID-19 Test Results

As of 12:00 pm, April 16, 2020, there are no new cases of COVID-19 reported in Douglas County. The number of positive cases remains at twenty-three total in the county. Of the twenty-three, ten have recovered and two are currently hospitalized at different hospitals.  There have been zero deaths and 591 negative tests for COVID-19 in the county. 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. Ten 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-19.

The next drive through COVID-19 clinic, led by DPHN is scheduled for Friday April 17th, in Roseburg.  At this time, you can only get a COVID-19 test through your healthcare provider. Residents must be identified by their health care provider.  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 306 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 COVID-19 Response Team, 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.

Facebook Live with Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer

Join us tomorrow for the next virtual town hall Q&A with Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer, your Douglas County Public Health Officer tomorrow, Friday, April 17 at 6:00 pm, hosted by DPHN and found on their DPHN Facebook page.

Shout Out to the Coastal Clinic Crew

DPHN, Aviva Health, the Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team, Douglas County Commissioners, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Douglas County Public Works teamed up to host the second COVID-19 drive-through testing clinic in Reedsport last Saturday, April 11. Nine individuals were tested and are among 306 Douglas County residents who have been administered tests at the drive through clinics led by DPHN since March 17.  This amazing group of volunteers, County staff and local health professionals are assisting DPHN with testing and other initiatives tied to the region’s COVID-19 emergency response.

“It is imperative that we continue to coordinate resources in order to offer testing in multiple areas of our large County,” 
commented Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer.  Pictured in the attached photo are Douglas County Public Health Officer Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer (right) and Aviva Health Medical Scribe Tori Prawitz-Wiprud, who were on hand Saturday in Reedsport to administer COVID-19 tests.

Douglas County residents sheltering at home may find themselves with enough time to finally tackle that long-planned yard project. But utility officials are reminding people to make sure they call 8-1-1 to locate underground lines before doing any digging. If you are planning any such projects, state law requires that you call 8-1-1 at least two days in advance.  Calling 8-1-1 will initiate a request for someone to visit your work site to mark the ground above utility lines. This way, you won’t accidentally hit a line while you’re digging,” Avista said on its website.  Common projects that involve digging include installing a mailbox, planting a tree, erecting a fence or installing a sprinkler system.  There are nearly 20 million miles of underground utility lines in the U.S. including gas, water, sewer, cable, telephone and other lines.   

“If you don’t know where they are buried before you dig, you are in danger,” 
Pacific Power officials said. “Even if you are lucky enough not to be harmed, you could be responsible for causing a service outage in your neighborhood – and potentially be responsible for the substantial repair costs.”  The 8-1-1 service is free. Call Before you Dig information can be found here.

Libraries Closed, But Still Offering Resources

With branches closed due to COVID-19, libraries in Douglas County have been making adjustments to ensure that residents are still reading and learning as they stay home and stay safe. The Roseburg Public Library has implemented weekly drive-up services on Thursdays from 3-6 p.m. so patrons can check out physical materials they’ve placed on hold. Library staff pull the requested items from the shelves, check them out and prepare them for pickup. During pickup, patrons remain in their cars and follow the instructions posted in the parking lot.  To use this option, patrons can log onto their accounts and place holds through the library’s catalog using their library card number and password (the default password is the phone number used to register the account). Assistance is available by calling the library at (541) 492-7050 or emailing"> Returns can be made using the book drop. Due dates have been extended but patrons are encouraged to return books on time.  The library’s digital platforms remain available 24/7. Thousands of e-books and audiobooks are available for readers of all ages through the apps cloudLibrary and OverDrive. More information on digital options is available on the library’s website.

Douglas County’s other public libraries are also highlighting online resources and fun events to help keep people connected to books. The Lower Umpqua Library in Reedsport is posting “daily literacy activities” on its Facebook page, such as “write a poem about spring,” and “cook something you think your favorite book character would like to eat.” The Canyonville Community Library and some other branches have highlighted Dolly Parton’s new YouTube channel, “Goodnight with Dolly,” where the country star reads children’s books. The Oakland City Library and Sutherlin Library are posting video story times. The Riddle City Library is offering various tips and activities.

Daily Tips: Game Night Thursdays

It’s hard not being able to see your friends and family in person. But you can still play games together even if you’re not in the same room. Mad Libs is a fun one for all ages, and logistically easy. Don’t have a Mad Libs at home? Make one up! Other easy games to play virtually are Charades, Bingo or Trivia – you can adjust the rules if needed to make it work over video. If you’re willing to work a little harder, you can even play games like Monopoly, chess or checkers; in those cases, each household will need their own board and will need to keep track of all moves on each board. Find more helpful tips in these articles from (kids’ games) and Good Housekeeping (adults and kids). 

Road and Bridge Closure Updates from ODOT

According to ODOT, a short section of Scottsburg West Road at the north end of the Scottsburg Bridge will be closed for about two years starting Monday, April 20. Both the bridge and Oregon 38 (Umpqua Highway) will remain open at all times during construction.  The closure will affect the 200-foot spur of Scottsburg West Road where it meets Oregon 38. Motorists traveling on Scottsburg West Road will be directed to drive under the bridge and use Main Street to reach the highway.  The new Scottsburg Bridge will be constructed just downriver of the old structure, requiring workers to realign this part of Scottsburg West Road.  Prime contractor Hamilton Construction began work on the $39.5 million bridge replacement project in early February. Their first tasks involved removing trees, clearing brush, building access roads, demolishing a condemned house within the work zone, and lowering the roadway under the bridge.  Over the summer, contractors will build a work platform that extends into the Umpqua River. They will also build an approach road to the platform and a retaining wall along Scottsburg West Road.  Construction on the new bridge will likely begin later this year. All work is scheduled to be completed by summer 2022.

Additionally, U.S. Highway 101 is scheduled to be closed at the Umpqua River Bridge Wednesday night, April 22, from 10:00 pm to 4:00 am.  The Umpqua River Bridge is located at milepost 211 along US Highway 101, adjacent to Reedsport City Limits.  No detours are available.  The six-hour closure will allow contractors to replace one of two damaged crossbeams of the bridge.  Another nighttime closure of the bridge is tentatively planned for Monday night, April 27.  Emergency service providers will be given priority through the work zone during all closures.
May Primary Election Update: Voter Registration and Party Affiliation Deadline April 28, 2020

The May 19, 2020 Primary election is a little over a month away and your Douglas County Clerk, Daniel Loomis would like to remind citizens that the deadline for voter registration and party affiliation is April 28, 2020.  Registration cards must be postmarked by this date or submitted online no later than 11:59 pm on April 28, in order to be accepted.  Douglas County citizens can expect to see their mail-in ballots for the May Primary in their mailboxes after April 30, 2020.

You can register to vote or change your party selection any time by updating your registration online at or by filling out a new Oregon Voter Registration Card.  However, if you want to receive a ballot for a major party in the May 19, 2020 Primary Election you must register and make changes to your party selection no later than the deadline of April 28, 2020.

According to the Oregon Secretary of State, we will proceed with our May Primary Elections as planned, because Oregon has a long-established vote-by-mail system, which already complies by the guidelines for no gatherings and physical distancing issued by the State for the current COVID-19 pandemic.  Additionally, for the first time in Oregon, ballots can be returned without a stamp since the state has provided prepaid return postage.  We recommend mailing your ballots early.  Ballots can still be delivered to any official county drop box, if you prefer.

If you have questions or would like more information about Primary Elections and other election processes, please visit the Oregon Secretary of State’s website at or call 1.866.673.VOTE. For Voter Education and Outreach support please contact Douglas County Elections Division at (541) 440-4252 or email us at

Our Voter Education and Outreach Program does not provide support at political events and is entirely nonpartisan. Douglas County Elections does not endorse or discuss any particular candidates or measures.

Yes, these are uncertain times, but leaving home to donate blood is considered a lifesaving and essential need
. Those who are healthy, feeling well and eligible to give blood or platelets, are urged to make an appointment to donate as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling (800) 733-2767.? Donate your blood and save a life.

Upcoming Local Red Cross Blood Drives:

Thursday, April 16      1:00 pm – 6:00 pm       Elks Lodge #1943, 106 S Main Street, Myrtle Creek
Monday, April 20        1:00 pm – 6:00 pm       Redeemers Fellowship, 3031 West Harvard Avenue, in Roseburg
Monday, April 20        1:00 pm – 6:30 pm       RC Blood Donation Ctr, 1176 NW Garden Valley Blvd., Roseburg Tuesday, April 21        9:00 am – 2:00 pm       YMCA of Douglas County, 1151 NW Stewart Parkway, in Roseburg
Wednesday, April 22   9:00 am – 2:00 pm       Holiday Inn Express, 375 West Harvard Avenue, in Roseburg Tuesday, April 28        10:00 am – 3:30 pm     YMCA of Douglas County, 1151 NW Stewart Parkway, in Roseburg

Appointments are now required, in light of social-distancing guidelines. To make an appointment, visit To save time during your donation, please complete your health history questions prior to the drive by visiting

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.

Local case data includes all tests done in the county, and are not exclusive to DPHN testing. Further, reporting numbers are accurate as of time listed on this release.  These numbers may not match other organizations, who report at different times of the day.