Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team - Daily Local Update - April 21, 2020

Douglas Co. Government

(Douglas County, Ore.) Sometimes we forget about all the work that continues to happen behind the scenes in our local communities, despite a crisis.  We would like to send a shout out to all the public works crews, water and waste water treatment plant operators, refuse haulers and utility workers that keep our lights on, our water running, our waste water flowing, our garbage picked up, our streets cleaned, and our road and bridges maintained. 

Oakland Mayor, Bette Keehley suggested we mention and send a special thank you to these individuals for the hard work that they do.  “We have a very valuable group of employees that work for our local municipalities, as well as those that work for our county, state and federal government, that we depend on to do their jobs day-in-and-day-out to keep our world functioning, so we can survive this crisis,” commented Keehley.  “You may never see them, or realize all they do, but they are there.  So, if you see them, please take a moment to say thanks!

Local COVID-19 Test Results

As of 12:00 pm, April 21, 2020, there are no new cases of COVID-19 in Douglas County.  The total number of positives in Douglas County remains at twenty-three.  Of the twenty-three, thirteen have recovered.  There have been zero deaths and 728 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. Thirteen 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, will happen today, Tuesday April 21st, 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 334 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.

Community Bands Together to Create PPE Supply Chain for Mercy

Hospitals nationwide have found themselves with an acute need for items like N95 masks, gowns, bonnets, gloves and more. Working in concert with Douglas Public Health Network (DPHN), Mercy Foundation has been able to keep up with the demand for PPE as well as homemade masks, to ensure our communities are safe. Local businesses, government agencies and individuals have banded together to create a personal-protective-equipment (PPE) supply chain to support DPHN and the agencies it represents, including Mercy.

Many partners have been instrumental in assisting both Mercy and DPHN, and now the focus is on helping create a supply chain for reusable and more reliable/sustainable PPE.  For reusable gowns, FCC Commercial Furniture has sourced fabric and will be cutting 500 fabric gown pieces, and Mercy Foundation has lined up 15 local seamstresses and tailors to sew the gowns. Oregon Serigraphics and their team of “Sewing Warriors” have made thousands of homemade masks for both Mercy Medical Center’s patients and DPHN, and have added reusable/washable bonnets for Mercy’s clinical staff. Donations of PPE have come from so many generous organizations, including the Roseburg Public School District, Home
Depot, Harbor Freight, local contractors, local business, individuals, veterinarian and dental offices.  There was also a community-wide campaign led by Roseburg Tracker and AHEC raising funds for face shields. All of the donations were split between DPHN and Mercy to use as needed.

Recently, the Roseburg VA has stepped in to help sanitize Mercy’s N95 masks so the normally single-use masks can be worn up to four times. The masks are brought to the VA and disinfected with ultraviolet light in a special process defined by the University of Nebraska. Medical staff mark their masks, and the masks are returned to their same users after being disinfected.

“Having adequate PPE has been a concern across the globe, and both state government and supply pipelines have been challenged to consistently meet the needs of hospitals across the U.S.,” 
said Kathleen Nickel, Mercy’s Director of Communications. “By working with our community partners to create a pipeline of reusable PPE, along with the VA’s partnership to reprocess masks and extend their use from 1 to 4x, we will continue to have the PPE our staff need to care for patients in our community. So, whether a staff member works in surgery, the ER, Family BirthPlace, ICU/PCU or up on the medical or surgical floors, they will have access to the necessary equipment to keep themselves and our patients safe.”

Mercy’s Emergency Department and ICU staff switched to reusable gowns, bonnets and other PPE several weeks ago. Patients visiting Mercy’s outpatient clinics are now provided with donated homemade masks, which also helps reduce the use of disposable PPE. Due to these measures and continued community support, Mercy has made a commitment to pay it forward by offering startup PPE back to the local dental practices that stepped up early on to support both Mercy and DPHN, so they can get back to serving their patients.  

Urgent Notice: Wednesday Deadline for SSDI Recipients to Claim Dependent Stimulus Funds

Legal Aid Services is urgently spreading the word that Social Security and Railroad Retirement recipients may lose their dependent stimulus money if they don’t act by Wednesday. People receiving Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Veterans Affairs beneficiaries who didn’t file a tax return in the last two years will automatically receive their $1,200 stimulus payments without having to do anything extra.

However, the IRS issued a special alert on Monday that people in those groups who have dependents must take an extra step in order to receive the $500 stimulus payments for eligible children in their households. Those people need to go online and use the IRS’s special non-filer tool to enter information on their dependents. This must be done by 9 a.m. Wednesday, according to the IRS.

Those who miss the deadline can have their stimulus amount of $500 per eligible child paid in association with their 2020 tax returns. The IRS notes that SSI and VA beneficiaries have some additional time beyond Wednesday to add their children, since their $1,200 stimulus payments will be made at a later date, but Legal Aid urges them to still act quickly. Legal Aid is available by phone to assist residents Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call (541) 673-1182 for assistance.

UACT Announces Youth Talent Contest Winners

JoLane Middle School seventh-grader David Cockrum-Shinn has won the grand prize in Umpqua Actors Community Theatre’s Youth Talent Competition for his Lego animation video. “Your Lego animation video just won you $150! Keep up your mad animation skills!” UACT said in a Facebook post announcing the contest’s “grand champion.” The poignant video, titled “Lego Pandemic!” depicts a day in the life of a Lego man who goes to work amid the COVID-19 outbreak. It ends with a reminder about the importance of washing your hands.
There were many other winners in three grade-specific groups:
  • Group 1 (Grades 1-4) – 1st place - Sarah Wyatt (drums); 2nd place – Lola Ferguson (tap dance); 3rd place – Ryder Lewis (lip sync); Honorable Mentions – Khloe Bochart (glow-stick dance) and Halle Goodman (piano)
  • Group 2 (Grades 5-8) – 1st place – Jenna Fay (hip hop dance); 2nd place - Natalie Swindler (ASL performance); 3rd place – Jedidiah Chapman (piano); Honorable Mentions – Tim Kitchens (Hamlet monologue) and Anaiya Martinez (dance)
  • Group 3 (Grades 9-12) – 1st place – Micah Nichols (mallet percussion); 2nd place – Sabrina Talley (piano); 3rd place – Lily Brown (dance); Honorable Mentions – Tucker Thompson (singing/guitar) and Cosette Maclean (singing)
Entries were submitted via video for the virtual contest. UACT shared some of the videos on its Facebook page, including the drumming video submitted by 8-year-old home schooler Sarah Wyatt and Roseburg High senior Micah Nichols’ mallet percussion video. Congratulations to all of the winners! We are impressed!

Roseburg Schools Add Dinner Items to “Grab and Go” Meals

On Monday, the Roseburg Public Schools District began adding dinner items to all of its “grab and go” meals, which are currently being served at school sites and via bus routes. Now, the bagged meals will include a breakfast component with fruit and milk; lunch items; and a ready-to-eat dinner component that includes a fruit or vegetable. The bags will contain instructions on how to heat the dinner items. “Grab and go” meals are available for all Roseburg Schools youths ages 0-18. Children picking up their meals at bus stops may take an extra meal for other youths in their home. Adults are allowed to pick up the bagged meals for their children without the child being present. School sites offering meal pickups and bus delivery schedules can be found on the district’s website.

Kids Can Learn About the Weather on Meteorology Site

Is your child fascinated by clouds and storms? Do you suspect you may have a budding young meteorologist at home? Check out, which is offering daily lessons on the weather to help keep kids learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Join us right here every day during the school week as we dive into different weather topics, dispel myths and feature fun experiments,” the site states. Today’s content includes lessons on shelf clouds and lenticular clouds (shaped like spaceships), and weather patterns on other planets.

Spread Some Cheer: Decorate Your Windows

We could all use a little pick-me-up, and you can lift others’ spirits without leaving your house! If your home has street-facing windows, consider placing positive messages in them, or cheerful images like hearts or flowers. You can also put a teddy bear in the window for local kids whose parents have been driving them around on “bear hunts” to count how many they see! Around the globe, residents are livening up their windows to keep their neighbors smiling.

Daily Tips: Outreach Tuesday

We’re all missing seeing our friends and family members as we practice social distancing, and sometimes a phone call or a video chat doesn’t feel the same as just “hanging out.” One way to feel like you’re spending quality time with a loved one is to just keep your phone or video chat on as you go about your day. For instance, call your Mom or a friend and carry your device with you around the house as you fold laundry or put away the dishes so you can keep talking. Chatting informally like this can start to feel like hanging out after a while. Even if there are silences or distractions, you know someone is there with you.

Meteor Shower to Peak Tonight

The annual Lyrid meteor shower has been lighting up the skies, and is expected to peak overnight tonight. The show starts around 10 p.m., but the most “shooting stars” can be seen an hour or two before dawn on Wednesday morning. The Lyrids are rock and dust left behind by comet C/1861 G, also known as Comet Thatcher. The Earth passes through the debris trail once a year.

Leaving home to donate blood is considered a lifesaving need.  Those who are healthy, feeling well and are eligible to give blood, platelets or convalescent plasma, are urged to participate. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the cancellation of hundreds of Red Cross blood drives, resulting in more than 9,000 fewer blood donations.  Anyone interested in donating must make an appointment by visiting To save time during your donation, complete your health history questions prior to arriving. Appointments can also be made using the Red Cross Blood Donor App or calling (800) 733-2767.
  • Wednesday, April 22 - 9:00 am – 2:00 pm - Holiday Inn Express, 375 West Harvard Avenue, Roseburg
  • Friday, April 24 - 9:00 am – 2:30 pm - Roseburg Blood Donation Ctr, 1176 NW Garden Valley Blvd., Roseburg
  • Friday, April 24 - 10:30 am – 4:00 pm - LDS Church, 2001 West Bertha, Roseburg
  • Monday, April 27 - 1:00 pm – 6:30 pm - Roseburg Blood Donation Ctr, 1176 NW Garden Valley Blvd., Roseburg
  • Tuesday, April 28 – 10:00 am – 3;30 pm – YMCA, 1151 Stewart Parkway, Roseburg
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.