Emergency Declaration Extended to April 21

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Sponsored by: Board of Commissioners

Emergency declaration extended to continue supporting public health response


Marni Kuyl and Mark Jockers

The Washington County Board of Commissioners voted April 7 to extend until April 21 the county’s prior declaration of emergency regarding the response to the new coronavirus. The new emergency declaration aligns the maximum two-week period allowed under the county’s emergency ordinance with the board’s existing meeting calendar. 

The new declaration continues the authorizations, support for coordination and other actions from the prior declaration adopted on March 31. The board first declared an emergency on March 4, just after the county’s first case of COVID-19 was discovered. 

The county’s emergency operations center (EOC) also activated soon after the first case of new coronavirus was reported on February 28. The EOC serves to support public health operations and to coordinate the multi-agency response to the outbreak. Over 100 staff and representatives from several community partners have been working in the EOC since that time, using appropriate social distancing. County staff continues to collaborate with community partners and other jurisdictions to collectively slow the spread of this new disease.   

Objectives for the Washington County EOC include:

  • Continued coordination around community-wide compliance with Governor Kate Brown’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” order;
  • Support for public health tracking, monitoring and support of households where positive cases have been reported;
  • Resources to assist health care providers for patient care; 
  • Ensure that all EOC sections incorporate equity considerations and prioritize support to vulnerable population;
  • Help for vulnerable populations affected by the public health crisis, including a new respite site for people who may have symptoms of the virus and are also experiencing homelessness; 
  • Assessing, monitoring and developing strategies to address the impact of the pandemic to essential needs in the community, such as food, utilities and so forth.
  • The development of a countywide initiative to address the economic impact of the pandemic, particularly on small businesses; and 
  • Assessing, monitoring and developing strategies to address the mental health impact of the pandemic and the “Stay at Home, Save Lives” order on the community.

The public is reminded to follow Governor Kate Brown’s statewide “Stay Home, Save Lives” order and recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These simple steps can save lives by to slowing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands well and often; 
  • Cough and sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue; 
  • Stay home unless traveling to get food, medicine or other necessary items, or if your job is considered critical and must be done in-person;
  • Cancel any gatherings, conferences or non-essential meetings; 
  • Avoid social and other gatherings; 
  • Increase the physical space between each other in workplaces and other settings as appropriate; and
  • Wear a cloth face covering when in public and unable to ensure appropriate physical distancing.

Health officials also ask that the public stay informed and educated through trustworthy sources of information, such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Oregon Health Authority and Washington County Public Health Division

General questions about COVID-19 can be answered by calling 2-1-1. Questions about your specific medical needs should be directed to your health care provider.

Media Contact:

Philip Bransford, Communications Officer
503-846-8685
Philip_Bransford@co.washington.or.us