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Bend councilors discuss 2-week freeze amid holiday — and what comes next

New state metrics may be unveiled next week; city won't have 'turkey cops'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- With a new statewide temporary shutdown for some businesses, Bend city councilors had an abundance of questions Wednesday evening about what the next two weeks -- and beyond -- will look like for the city and its residents.

Oregon's Central Region Regional Solutions Coordinator Annette Liebe was on the online meeting to provide some early info about reopening steps and a new set of guidelines in the works at the governor's office and Oregon Health Authority.

"This is an approach that is more focused on risk-based metrics," Liebe said. "Similar to the school reopenings where you have green, yellow and orange phases."

Liebe said Governor Brown will not be moving counties on or off a 'watch list' as before, but rather a risk-based metric approach will let counties know where they stand.

This approach would provide different opportunities for counties, based on case counts and positivity rates.

Liebe said the new risk-based metrics could be announced as soon as next Tuesday.

With social distancing and mask mandate still in play, councilors asked staff if members of the community should be worried about Bend police knocking on doors.

Bend City Manager Eric King said their intention is to not intrude.

"We really are not going into private homes -- that is not our intent," King said. "If there is a large house party where there's many people gathering, and there's going to be impacts beyond just spreading the virus, we are obviously going to respond to those."

Councilor Bill Moseley asked, "No turkey cops," to which King replied with a slight chuckle, "No."

King stressed that the city does not want this to devolve into neighbors telling on neighbors. He also made it clear that the city does not have the resources to monitor everything at all times.

City Code Enforcement Officer James Goff outline use of overtime hours and also using some retired Bend police officers check on more businesses, in order to help with mask and other COVID-19 guidelines enforcement.

The funds will come from remaining CARES Act funding, which also will be used to help residents with utility bills and to help fund a new set of public-service messages about to launch that will have younger people urging others to wear masks.

Mayor Sally Russell briefly mentioned councilors receiving email complaints about the surprise Old Mill District fireworks show earlier in the week, but no one spoke in the visitors section on the issue and no further discussion occurred.

Russell also said she understands how difficult the upcoming holiday will be for families across Bend.

Bend / Central Oregon / Coronavirus / Deschutes County / Government-politics / Top Stories
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Alec Nolan

Alec Nolan is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Alec here.

Comments

23 Comments

      1. Who ignores the guidelines? We had been in shutdown for months and it did not seem to work, it did not seem to work in most parts of the world either. So lets shut down again and it won’t work again but now we ruined the livelihood of many and the future of our children.
        Great job!
        The only way this virus would stop if you completely isolate everyone but then civilization as we know would collapse in a few days and us, including you, would go back to the stone age.

        1. Plenty of people are ignoring the guidelines, as evidenced by the spread of the virus. Go into a store, and everything looks fine, but they say it’s the private gatherings that are doing it. I don’t know about you, but I’m staying home for Thanksgiving. Many will not, and the problem will continue.

        2. How do you figure that the shutdown didn’t work? The COVID-19 patient population in St Charles went from growing at a rate that was soon to overwhelm the staff to few to no COVID-19 patients. Shutting down flattened the curve very well which was the goal so that the hospital would not have to choose who to take care of and who to let die.

      2. It’s highly likely that a large percentage of people will, in fact, ignore the private gathering guidelines next week and over Christmas. Shut down small businesses and restaurants as much as you want, but the rate will just continue to climb because of that. Not to mention, the fact that as of yesterday, I still saw groups of teens walking around everywhere together, without a mask to be seen. So people can rightfully proselytize about the COVID deniers as much as they want, but if their own kids are still hanging out in mask-less packs, then they’re as much as part of the problem as anyone.

        1. All I can say is that I will continue to do my share to keep myself and others safe, and will not go to the kids’ house for the holidays. Pretty much what I’ve gotten used to doing until the vaccine is available.

    1. Yep. Thanks to a very influential individual telling his followers that it was a hoax and a democrat conspiracy that will magically disappear after the election (that he still thinks he won).

      1. your TDS is amusing. President Trump NEVER said the virus was a hoax. And anyway, nothing the President could have done would keep you and your ilk from saying he was not doing enough

  1. Ok. Here is what happened. Since the guvner was stupid enough to set a date, everybody went out to kick up their heels tuesday night. Two weeks from now, the infections will spike because of this irresponsible behavior, which will turn 2 weeks into 4 or 6 or 8.. If the idiot guvner had just locked down, instead of giving a timeline, it might have done some good.

  2. This is not science based, this is an arrogant display elitist power without regard to consequences.
    The only place people are allowed to congregate is corporately owned big box stores. These rules are ignored by the elitist ruling class.
    This lock down is Kate Brown’s application for a job in the Biden Administration.

  3. I see the usual falderal from those who evidently never based science or health class in high school or are just conspiracy buffs.
    .
    My co-worker who had covid assures me it was not fun.

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