June 17, 2020

Today the Union County Board of Commissioners met in regular session to discuss the local COVID-19 outbreak.  At the recommendation of the Union County Incident Management Team (IMT), the Commissioners passed a community-wide voluntary rollback to Phase 1.  This is not a mandate, but a recommendation that the community implement mitigation measures consistent with Phase 1.  The IMT and the Board of Commissioners believe these actions will be in the best interest of the community.  Keeping the community safe and as healthy as possible in these challenging times is the priority. Sheriff Boyd Rasmussen and La Grande Police Chief Gary Bell were at the meeting to discuss potential enforcement challenges that have been experienced throughout the state and nation which contributed to the Commissioner’s decision.

Additionally, the Commissioners passed a recommendation to urge Union County citizens to adhere to Oregon Health Authority guidance related to wearing cloth face coverings and masks.  The guidance states that cloth face coverings or masks should be worn when physical distancing guidelines cannot be observed. 

Today the IMT and volunteers worked to make final arrangements for the drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic to be held tomorrow and Friday.  This included scheduling of appointments; ordering additional test kits; securing a location and necessary supplies; and providing volunteers and medical staff to assist with the clinic.  Additional large-scale clinics are anticipated to be scheduled next week.

COVID-19 screeners will be working again tomorrow to schedule appointments for the Friday drive-through testing clinic.  Individuals who have been in direct contact with a COVID-19 confirmed case and have not yet been contacted are urged to call in tomorrow at (541) 963-1040 between the hours of 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.  Other individuals encouraged to call in are mission critical workers, coworkers of confirmed cases, and concerned citizens.  Tests will be conducted until the supply has been exhausted.

There were two new confirmed cases announced for Union County today bringing the total number of cases to 242.  Statewide, there are a total of 6,218 cases.  Officials anticipate the number of local confirmed cases will continue to increase as contact tracing, investigations, and additional tests are conducted.

COVID-19 symptoms currently include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

The Joint Information Center will be open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. until further notice.