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COVID-19 Deschutes County impacts: Bend, Bend-La Pine Schools, Redmond, Sisters SD

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- We are compiling each day's announcements and notices by county, for easier finding. Wednesday's Deschutes County list brings notices from the city of Bend, Bend-La Pine Schools, the city of Redmond and the Sisters School District superintendent, among others:


City of Bend COVID-19 Emergency Provisions

The City of Bend is taking steps to limit exposure to and spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). In support of state and federal guidelines for social distancing, the City has cancelled meetings, has encouraged employees to telework, is closing public access to City facilities, and is providing some ability to help local businesses impacted by this pandemic.

At the March 18 Council meeting, Councilors ratified an order declaring a local state of emergency as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows more flexibility and authorization for the City Manager to buy safety-related goods or services without normal procurement processes and to develop emergency policies regarding the use of sick leave, vacation leave, telecommuting and meeting protocols. These changes will remain in effect for the duration of the emergency.

“An emergency declaration allows the City to not shut off water for those with outstanding bills, ease regulatory processes for businesses having to adapt to these new restrictions, and create support systems for local businesses to help with hardships due to this emergency, and more,” said Mayor Sally Russell.

To further restrict personal interactions in the work place, beginning on Thursday, March 19, all City facilities, excluding the main Police Department lobby, will be closed to the public.

Staff can continue working inside these buildings to provide services.

“We’ve closed City facilities to the public but that doesn’t mean we’re shutting down operations. Work is still happening,” said City Manager Eric King. “We are restricting our customer facing functions to keep everyone safe and minimize interactions with the public.”

During this emergency:

The Bend Police Department will be triaging access to the lobby. Staff will be at the front office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., however, Police ask community members to first call by phone prior to visiting. Options will be posted at the facility. Non-emergencies should call 541-693-6911.

Bend Municipal Court sessions are cancelled. Court clerks will be available only by phone. To contact the court clerks, call 541-388-5572 and press 9 Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for any questions about appearances or concerns about court payments. Pleas may be entered in writing by mail or by using the 24-hour drop box. Forms are available in the Municipal Court entrance at 555 NE 15th St. and on our website at www.bendoregon.gov/municipalcourt

Utility Billing offices are closed to the public but customer service is available by phone. Customers wishing to pay a utility bill at the downtown Utility Billing location (639 NW Franklin Ave.) are encouraged to make electronic payments if possible. To make your payment:

  • Use Interactive Voice Response phone payment 541-388-5515.
  • Call Customer Service at 541-388-5515 during regular office hours.
  • Visit the website and make online payments.
  • Send questions to be utilitiesonline@bendoregon.gov. Staff will respond within 2 business days.
  • Use the drop box located on the Wall Street side of City Hall, 710 NW Wall St. Checks or money orders only.

Utility customers can contact the Utilities Annex (62975 NE Boyd Acres Road) can call 541-317-3000 (option #2).

Community Development customers who are accustomed to visiting the permit counter are instead encouraged to call 541-323-8551 or email permitcenter@bendoregon.gov for help. Application fees can be paid online via the “Services” link at www.bendoregon.gov.

The City Manager’s Office can be reached at 541-388-5505 or citymanager@bendoregon.gov. Calls and messages will be returned in 24 hours, Monday through Friday.


Bend Mayor Sally Russell's statement introducing declaration of emergency:

MAYOR SALLY RUSSELL, INTRODUCTION TO RATIFYING THE STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARATION:

These past couple of weeks have been disturbing and difficult for all of us in light of the COVID-19, coronavirus pandemic. At the City of Bend, we are following guidelines from State and Federal public health experts and making appropriate changes to our operations.

Earlier this week the Governor announced further means to decrease the rate of infection over the next four weeks, including restricting bars and restaurants to take-out service only, banning gatherings of more than 25 people, and urging Oregonians to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.

These changes help protect those on the front lines: nurses and doctors, grocery store clerks and public servants of all kinds - people in our community whose jobs have gotten harder and riskier. To protect the health and safety of first responders and Oregon families, we must work together.

There is something you can do: Social distancing will save lives. Young and healthy people need to practice social distancing as much as the at-risk populations. Anyone could be contagious, even without showing symptoms. Isolation from our friends and neighbors will slow the rate of transmission and get Oregon to the other side of this. Please know I think of it as an amazing act of solidarity, and I thank you all for participating.

HERE’S WHAT THE CITY IS DOING: We have declared a local state of emergency as a result of the COVID-19 and the declaration will be in effect through at least April 15. This declaration allows more flexibility and authorization for the City Manager to take actions to help protect the health and safety of the community, through a number of means: from limiting access to public places, to buying items or services related to health and safety without normal procurement procedures that can take additional time.

To restrict the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the City’s workforce so employees can continue to provide crucial City services, the City Manager has developed emergency policies regarding the use of sick leave, vacation leave, telecommuting, meeting protocols, and more. These changes will remain in effect for the duration of the emergency.

CANCELLATIONS AND CLOSURES The City has canceled advisory committee meetings and project-specific outreach meetings or open houses. You can see here tonight that this Council meeting is limited and livestreamed. The Council meeting on April 1 is canceled. Beginning tomorrow, Thursday, March 19, all City facilities, excluding the main Police Department lobby, will be closed to the public. Staff can still work in the buildings in order to provide service, but within social distancing guidelines.

UTILITY BILLING Paying utility bills can be done online or over the phone.

PERMIT COUNTER Staff from the Community Development permit counter will help customers on the phone or online.

MUNICIPAL COURT Bend Municipal Court sessions are cancelled and the court office is closed. Court clerks are available by phone for questions about appearances or payments.

COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC RESILIENCY At the moment, we are not encouraging tourism to our town. Our partners at Visit Bend pulled all paid media and canceled promotions related to tourism in Bend. With Mount Bachelor closing and our restaurants and bars closed for business, tourism will likely slow organically for the next few months.

Families in Oregon are faced with joblessness. We have 7,000 businesses in Bend that employ close to 80,000 people. Our emergency declaration helps us support businesses so that they can support their employees. An emergency declaration allows us to justify not shutting off water for those with outstanding bills, easing regulatory processes for businesses having to adapt to these new restrictions, and creating support systems for local businesses to help with hardships due to this emergency, and more.

We must respond to the immediate needs of our community to protect the economy and the people in Bend.

Also, the City is working to support area nonprofits who serve individuals and families experiencing homelessness during this critical time. We will help them be able to provide meals, case management services and hotel or rental assistance for those with the highest medical risk.

WATER SERVICE While this emergency is in place, the City will not send shut-off notices or shut off water for non-payment of unpaid water bills. It’s vitally important that our community have the ability to wash hands and keep their spaces cleaned, despite any economic hardship they may be experiencing.

IN CLOSING

This is unprecedented for our community, and for the world. It may seem like we’re in the middle of this, but it’s just the beginning. So let’s support each other. I’ve seen it happening already: numerous, humbling acts of generosity we are surrounded by. That’s what I want to close with. We’ve seen strangers helping older people who are frightened to go into a grocery store, and individuals organizing support groups to provide care and comfort to others who need help. Ask yourself if you can help a friend or neighbor who is a health professional or first responder: bring them a meal, watch their child, walk their dog.

Thank you for caring, for taking the time to listen and help. If everyone pulls together it will make life just a little easier.

More details about closures or cancellations: https://www.bendoregon.gov/Home/Components/News/News/3666/29

Letter from the Central Oregon Veterans Council:

Dear Veteran Members & Supporters,

I just wanted to reach out to let you know what the board is doing to ensure our Veterans do not fall between the cracks during these times of uncertainty. We are consistently monitoring COVID 19 and are in constant communication with, VA Portland Healthcare System, St. Charles Health System, DAV, Behavioral Health Programs and Central Oregon Veterans Outreach. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers COVID-19 to be a serious public health threat, but individual risk is dependent upon exposure.

The number one thing to remember is to remain calm and protect yourself by:

·        Washing your hands often and/or use hand sanitizer of at least 60% alcohol.

·        Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

·        Avoid people who are sick

·        Limit contact with others if you are at high risk

·        Stay home and away from others when sick

·        Cover your coughs and sneezes with tissues or your arm/sleeve and dispose of tissues in the trash.

·        Keep surfaces clean using disinfecting wipes

We know that those at greatest risk are over the age of 65 and those who are immunosuppressed. Our Veterans are resilient and often resourceful however we must be vigilant in protecting them by identifying those at greatest risk:

·        Single Veterans over the age of 60 who are living alone

·        Veteran with known medical condition (Cancer, diabetes, heart disease etc.)

·        Veterans in isolated areas without family

·        Veterans caring for spouse with health conditions

·        Veterans with TBI, PTSD or other behavioral health conditions

We have begun create a volunteer list to cover all areas of Central Oregon coupled with people who can help us provide check-ins, run errands, pick-up & deliver medications/groceries, potentially provide transportation to medically necessary appointments or to simply offer friendship via the phone, skype or other means.

 If you are interested in volunteering or you know of a Veteran who meets the above criteria please contact Wendy Rudy or Adam Williams at Centraloregonveteranscouncil@gmail.com.  We will be creating a spreadsheet with names, phone numbers and addresses of volunteers and at risk Veterans.

Additionally we will be collecting and putting together mini- emergency kits that will include non-perishable food items, soap/hand-sanitizers, toilet paper, water and emergency contact lists.

We have a PayPal account that will make it easier for people to donate.  Our PayPal account is: CentralOregonVeteransCouncil@gmail.com and any donations will be used to support veterans in crisis, especially aging veterans and the vulnerable population. We will also work closely with COVO to try to keep their food bank full and identify other needs or available resources as they arise.

We are working as a team to identify and provide pertinent community education through Zoom or other social media venues. We hope this will help alleviate some fears and reduce anxiety over being isolated.

We will remain vigilant and suggest others do the same. It is imperative we identify those at risk and keep the lines of communication open.  

Thank you for your support! If you would like to speak with me or conduct any interviews about what the Central Oregon Veterans Council is doing to support veterans during this time, I will be available.

Sincerely,

Wendy Rudy, President, COVC

CentralOregonVeteransCouncil@gmail.com


Letter to families from Bend-La Pine Schools Supt. Shay Mikalson

March 18
6 p.m. Update

RE: Governor Orders School Closures Extended Through April 28 Statewide

Bend-La Pine Schools Families,

I am grateful for our community’s ability to work together and do what needs to be done. Thank you so very much.

As we anticipated, Governor Kate Brown announced an extension of the statewide school closure. The governor’s new order means that schools will be closed for students for six weeks, through April 28, unless the closure is extended or lifted by order of the governor before that date. The governor also said that school districts may be called on to provide childcare to emergency providers and medical staff. At this time, we are not providing this level of care. We will let you know more about this if we are called on to open schools in the Bend, La Pine and Sunriver areas for this effort or any others, as directed by the Governor.

I want you to know that we have been planning for a closure of this magnitude. Yet, it does not make my heart any less heavy to know that the time has come to implement the plan. I know these next days and weeks will not be easy for our students and families who depend on our schools being open.

Please know that we will continue to provide free ‘Grab and Go’ meals to our students and are readying our staff to provide supplemental learning materials to you and your student(s), beginning April 1. 

Free Meals
As of this afternoon, we have decided to extend our free ‘Grab and Go’ meals program through April 28. As I mentioned yesterday, we are also opening two sites for free ‘Grab and Go’ meals during spring break. You can learn more about what schools are participating and meal times here.

Some families have asked how many meals they can pick up for their students. You are welcome to take what you can share with the children under age 18 in your care. Families or caregivers are invited to choose the most convenient location, regardless of where they live or attend school.

Continuation of Learning
Our district has been preparing for the possibility of a prolonged closure since before the initial school closure order was announced. You can expect to learn more about the plan and to hear from your teacher(s) starting Wednesday, April 1 (the day we were originally scheduled to come back to school, per the Governor’s first order), when we launch supports to keep our students engaged and learning during this prolonged closure.

We have a plan to deliver a variety of strategies that will engage our students to continue learning, connect with their teachers and each other, and stay positive. Thanks to the availability of digital devices to students in grades 3-12, use of digital and paper tools for our youngest learners, and learning management tools for teacher use, Bend-La Pine Schools will deliver meaningful experiences for district students so that they can continue learning outside their traditional school walls. Families who do not currently have Internet access should check with their cable and phone providers in their area for no-cost options for Internet connections as some providers are currently providing these services free to students.

We are committed to embracing this new normal as an opportunity for our staff, students and families to collaborate, experiment, innovate and create as we serve our students, together, in the weeks to come.

Resources
If your children are like mine, they have begun asking questions about COVID-19. I am sharing some resources that I have found helpful for talking to children and youth about coronavirus COVID-19. 

Please know that we are working hard to help ease the strain as best we can and that together our community will get through these immense challenges. Thank you for your continued understanding and patience.

Best,

Shay Mikalson, Superintendent


Bend-La Pine Free “Grab-and-Go” Meals Extended Through April 28

La Pine High School and Bend Senior High School sites open during Spring Break

Bend-La Pine Schools has extended its “grab and go” meals for children age 18 and under through April 28, including the week of Spring Break.

The meals will be available at five locations March 18-20 and March 30 to April 28. Bend-La Pine Schools will open two locations for meal pick-ups during Spring Break, March 23-27, at Bend Senior High School and La Pine High School.

Ensworth Elementary School

2150 NE Dagget Lane, Bend

March 18-20 and March 30-April 28
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Sky View Middle School

63555 18th Street, Bend

March 18-20 and March 30-April 28
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Bend Senior High School

230 NE 6th 

March 18-April 28
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Elk Meadow Elementary School

60880 Brookswood Blvd., Bend
March 18-20 and March 30-April 28

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

La Pine High School

51633 Coach Road, La Pine

March 18-April 28
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Visitors are asked to enter through designated doors, pick up a meal from the cafeteria and then take the meal to go. Gathering inside the school is discouraged.

Bend-La Pine Schools custodial staff will be cleaning before and after each meal. 

Adults can purchase a meal for $4.    


City of Sisters Declares a State of Emergency

The City Manager has declared a state of emergency by administrative order, beginning March 16, 2020 and ending April 15, 2020.  City Council will adopt a resolution mirroring and superseding this administrative order on March 25, 2020.

The declaration allows the City additional flexibility in terms of limiting access to public buildings, directing City staff and delegating resources as well as acquiring needed resources related to health and safety. 

Having conferred with the Mayor, department heads, and City Council members, the City Manager finds that COVID-19 is a public health crisis that threatens the health, safety, and welfare of the City and the City’s citizens and constitutes an imminent threat of illness, human suffering, financial loss, and/or loss of life and the City Manager finds that COVID-19 necessitates a state of emergency declaration.  

The full text of Administrative Order 2020-01 can be found on our website:  www.ci.sisters.or.us/administration/page/coronavirus-information-and-resources


Letter from Sisters School District:

3/18/20

Dear Sisters Schools Community, 

The district has been following guidance from Governor Brown and the Oregon Health Authority to keep our community as safe as possible.  Currently, most staff are out of the building as we do our part to combat community spread of this virus.

After a virtual meeting with the Oregon Department of Education this morning, we have a better understanding of the most recently announced extended closure.   If you have not heard, the governor has extended the closure of schools to students until April 28th.  We were informed that this date could be reduced or lengthened depending on the data on positive COVID-19 cases that develop in the weeks to come.

On April 6th, our staff will report to work.  They will break into grade level or content area teams to develop core supplemental work to send out to our students.  It is our goal to get supplemental material out as quickly as possible and estimate that we should start disseminating materials no later than Wednesday, the 8th .

We are in continual communication with the Oregon Department of Education and we will communicate out changes as we get them.  ODE has an FAQ page at: https://www.oregon.gov/ode/students-and-family/healthsafety/Pages/COVID-19-FAQ.aspx.

Thank you again for your continued support and understanding as we navigate this rapidly changing crisis.

Regards,

Curt Scholl,

Superintendent, Sisters School District


City of Redmond Extends Lobby Closures thru April 28 But Remains Open for Business

REDMOND, OREGON – The City of Redmond will extend existing public access restrictions to City-owned buildings thru April 28, 2020 or until further notice.  All City services will continue.

This does not apply to the Redmond Municipal Airport (RDM).  RDM remains open to the public for daily flight operations.  It is recommended all airline passengers check with their air carrier for any changes to their flight schedules, before heading to the airport.

City Facilities 

  • Redmond City Hall 411 SW 9th St., the Public Works complex at 243 E. Antler Ave., and the Police Department Lobby at 777 SW Deschutes will be closed to the public through April 28; however, City operations will continue.  For questions, please call (541) 923-7710 during regular business hours.

City Meetings 

  • All City committee and commission meetings and other public meetings are cancelled through April 28.  Staff may conduct conference call meetings as needed for certain committee/commission business (if needed and requested).

Public Safety

  • The Redmond Police Department encourages residents to use their online reporting tool for non-emergency reports: www.ci.redmond.or.us/reportacrime, or call the non-emergency line at 541-693-6911. All emergencies should call 911.
  • The department’s lobby will be closed to the public, a Call Box is located by the front doors can be used to contact staff.
  • Public fingerprinting service and ride-a-longs have been suspended until further notice.

For a complete list of changes to City procedures due to COVID-19,  please visit City of Redmond website at www.ci.redmond.or.us


Preparing pets and animals for disaster
Pet Evacuation Team Regional Coordinator Jamie Kanski

Whether it is a virus resulting in quarantine,  a natural disaster, or a medical emergency that results in a pet owner’s need to be hospitalized or temporarily housed in a care facility, the Pet Evacuation Team (PET) wants the residents and animal owners of Central Oregon to be prepared.

If you have companion animals, set up a back up plan with friends, neighbors or family to arrange for your animal’s care during the time that you are incapacitated or evacuated. Make sure you have an ample supply of your animal’s regular foods and medications.  During this coronavirus outbreak , we are beginning to see a shortage of some brands of pet foods. Have a grab and go kit with your pet’s photo, ID and microchip information, behavioral and veterinary information, and where you can be contacted if away from your home.

If you have large animals and livestock, set up a back-up plan with friends, neighbors or family to arrange for your animal’s care during the time that you are incapacitated or evacuated. Have extra feed on hand in case access to those feeds becomes scarce. Keep the grab and go paperwork with pertinent information, photos and contact information for you and your veterinarian.

Create an animal care directive in the event of your death. Recently, the Pet Evacuation Team assisted with two cases in a row, where the animal owner passed away, leaving no directive for the animal’s care or placement.

The Pet Evacuation Team is in process of creating a small team and criteria, designed to assist those residents who may not have other resources available during a severe illness or evacuation. This team will be available to provide direct outreach to those who need it most.  Kathy Burnett, PET volunteer has been appointed as Resource Volunteer for this Outreach Program.

If you have questions about the program or need assistance, please contact PET at 541-610-6628 or email us at info@petevacuationteam.com.

Deschutes County / News

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Comments

3 Comments

  1. Hey Barney, one thing I’d like to see given more attention is the part where demand goes way down and Saudi Arabia/Russia have a price war and oil goes from above $60 barrel to $20, yet regular is still $2.99 in Terrebonne when the national average is $2.19 which is total bullcrap. You guys should do a story or three on this, please.

    1. “The Oregon state fuel tax on gasoline is $0.36 per gallon.”
      ___
      Take your girly complaint to Kate Brown- you seem to love her so much as she dips her grimy paws into your wallet every time you fuel up !

      How ironic- a self proclaimed TreHgr in Oregon who doesn’t understand how much over-regulated environmentalist activities hurt your paycheck ! Barney didn’t bother to tell you- but you know them refineries- they have em in Washington state- and I think the Saudi’s own it !

      later on I’ll explain in your girly terms how the Saudi’s will never lose your so-called price war. And how the US oil and gas industry has completely recovered after Obama to lead the world in production- so mush so that we are now a net exporter of petroleum- which is not gas !

      But only if you promise your absolute allegiance to the President Trump campaign for 2020.

      Grrrr- that Donald Trump !!!

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