Washington County Public Health’s statement regarding governor’s “two-week freeze”

Release date: 11/13/2020
Sponsored by: Health and Human Services Department, Public Health Division

The new measures announced today by Governor Kate Brown are necessary to slow the spread of coronavirus in Oregon and in Washington County. We have seen our case count increase by 41% in the last month in Washington County. Twenty-one people with the virus have lost their lives in the last month. Our hearts go out to everyone who has been ill, lost a loved one or suffered hardship due to this disease. 

This virus is still disproportionately impacting our Latinx population. Many are essential workers who do not have the luxury of working from home. Many live in smaller spaces with multiple family members and have difficulty isolating from others when sick. We are working with our community partners to reach and support these community members, but much more needs to be done. 

Many of you are doing all the important things we’ve been asking for months: You wear masks, keep physical distance from those outside of your own households, limit social contacts, and wash your hands often. Thank you! Unfortunately, our collective efforts to convince people to modify their behavior to slow the spread of this disease haven’t been successful. The data prove that. Sometimes policies are necessary to bring about meaningful change. This is one of those extraordinarily difficult times, and we support the governor in her decision to put additional restrictions and guidelines in place. 

In addition to the measures listed above, there are things you can do to help: 

  1. If you are sick or have tested positive, please stay home and away from others. Take safety precautions to prevent spread of the virus within your own household. These measures include designating one caregiver for the sick person, having the sick person stay in a separate room or providing a barrier between the sick person and the rest of the family, and asking the sick person, the caregiver and household members to always wear face coverings.    

  1. If you have tested positive or are waiting for test results, tell your close contacts right away so they can quarantine. It is recommended that close contacts quarantine for 14 days. Due to the tremendous increase in positive cases, there may be a delay in Public Health’s ability to make contact with you. A close contact is someone you spent at least 15 minutes with in a 24-hour period, with or without masks, indoors or out. More guidance is available in the “After You Get Tested” handbook on our website. 

  1. If possible, close contacts should get tested, but a negative test does not mean you can stop your quarantine. You can get sick at any time within the 14 days after exposure. There is no “best time to test,” but you should wait at least three days after exposure. 

If you can’t work due to COVID-19 and need help with rent, groceries or other essentials, Washington County and our community partners may be able to provide financial and other assistance.  

We know people are hurting – physically, emotionally and financially. Please know there is help available. The Washington County Crisis Line is answered 24/7 at 503-291-9111. Washington County’s COVID response resource line can be reached at 503-846-8123. Get connected to additional assistance by calling 2-1-1. 

Media Contact:

Wendy Gordon, Dept. Communications Coordinator