The Tillamook County Commissioners share the community’s concern surrounding COVID-19. We are working with multiple health agencies and community partners to disseminate accurate and up-to-date information.
As of March 13, 2020, no cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Tillamook County. There are 30 confirmed cases in Oregon. The Tillamook County Health Department has tested two sick individuals for COVID-19 and they both came back negative. Adventist Health has also tested patients for the virus, and they are waiting for results. The test kits are in short supply.
The Tillamook County Commissioners urge you to avoid unnecessary social contacts in the coming weeks. There are very likely people in our community who have been exposed and are now carriers of the virus. They may not even know they are sick. It could be true of any of us.
By avoiding social contact including public meetings, social events, church, shopping and any occasion where you might be exposed to the virus or unwittingly spread it, we will slow it down. At the very least, that may help prevent a medical surge event, where hospitals and clinics are overwhelmed with sick patients. We want everyone to get the best possible care when they need it in a facility that is not overwhelmed. This requires lifestyle changes of us all. Check out books and movies online through the Tillamook County Library; consider using ClickList at Fred Meyer or go shopping early or late to avoid the crowds. Watch religious services on TV, call your friends and family, stay in touch but not in person. Please do not visit people in precarious health, newborns, people who are immunosuppressed or in fragile health.
The State of Oregon declared a state of emergency on Sunday, March 8. Tillamook County has a declaration of emergency ready to enact if we get a confirmed case of COVID-19 or circumstances change making the declaration prudent. On March 12, Governor Brown issued a ban on gatherings of 250 people or more until April 8, 2020. Governor Brown also announced closure of all kindergarten through 12th grade schools in Oregon Monday, March 16 through April 1, 2020.
In addition: Governor Brown issued new strategies to slow the spread of the virus to ensure our healthcare system has capacity to treat high risk individuals, including:
• Workplaces: Recommended implementation, to the extent possible, of distancing measures, including increasing the physical space between employees in office and worksite to a minimum of three feet; limitation of in-person meetings and travel and staggering of work schedules where possible.
• Long-Term Care and Assisted Living: The strict visitation limitations announced this week by the Oregon Health Authority and Department of Human Services remain in place.
Everyone can help reduce the spread of infectious diseases such as the flu and COVID-19 by doing the following:
• Washing hands often for 20-30 seconds with warm water and soap.
• Coughing or sneezing into your sleeve or a tissue, not into your bare hand.
• Keeping your immune system strong by eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and regular exercise and by taking care of underlying health conditions.
There are also basic steps every household should take to prepare for any unexpected event, such as:
• Making sure your household has the necessary food, drinks medications and pet supplies if members of your household need to stay home and limit your contact with other people for a couple of weeks.
• Reach out to your neighbors, especially those who might need extra help, such as older adults or people living alone to ensure they have access to medicines and other supplies.
• Finally, we are prepared to take whatever action is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community. We will publish weekly COVID-19 communications and provide updates more frequent as needed.