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Jefferson County commissioners declare state of emergency, call on state to scrap vaccine mandate

Jefferson County

(Update: Statement from Commission Chair Kelly Simmelink)

MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) – Jefferson County commissioners unanimously declared a state of emergency on Wednesday due to a “foreseeable lack of resources” to respond to basic needs and called on the state to immediately withdraw the vaccine before the Oct. 18 deadline to avoid a hit to “core public services.”

“The Board of Commissioners requests that the state of Oregon immediately withdraw its vaccine mandate to prevent further exhaustion and departure of providers of core public services, including first responders, health care providers, educators and related staff, emergency service providers and public safety providers, that are essential for the safety and well-being of Oregonians living in, visiting and traveling through Jefferson County,” the resolution concluded.

The emergency declaration signed by Commission Chair Kelly Simmelink and commissioners Wayne Fording and Mae Huston said the COVID-19 pandemic “has exhausted many providers of core public services,” and the recent surge in cases due to the Delta variant “has further strained the delivery of those public services and has filled regional hospitals with COVID-19 patients.”

Due to the mandate, some workers “have left or are expected to leave employment, rather than receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” they stated.

Simmelink told NewsChannel 21, "The intent of this Emergency Declaration is to be preemptive in what we foresee as upcoming emergency due to lack of resources.

"Our jail staff is at about 40% vaccinated while Fire and EMS have a large group of unvaccinated staff. It is our understanding that nearly 20% of the St. Charles Health System still is unvaccinated.

"By doing this declaration, we are setting the stage for requesting state and/or federal assistance to assist local resources and capabilities. In rural counties all over the state, we are faced with the possibility of not being able to provide adequate Public Safety service.  We do not want to lose any of our service providers, and it is extremely hard to find replacements in rural Oregon should there be no alternatives.

"We join other rural counties in expressing our concern for the foreseeable public emergency in our county.  By alerting the governor of our situation, it is our hope that we can work together to find solutions that can keep our service providers at full capacity," Simmelink concluded.

KTVZ news sources



  1. “The recent surge in cases due to the Delta variant has further strained the delivery of those public services and has filled regional hospitals.” So, Jefferson County accepts that Covid is hospitalizing tons of people locally, but their best solution is repealing their vaccination-mandate? Seems like getting everyone vaccinated would only ease the strain Jefferson is feeling. If the mandate stays in place everyone WILL get vaccinated besides the most out there anti-vaxxers. Mandates on flights and events already pushed a wave of vaccines.

      1. Lol you only know one Orwell book huh… check out wigan pier someday, looks like you will be surprised to learn that orwell supported things like public health outreach- hopefully its not lost on you

        1. ” We do not want to lose any of our service providers, and it is extremely hard to find replacements in rural Oregon should there be no alternatives.” Gee I wonder why that is!!! No one with more than an 8th grade education!!! Wear a mask get, vaccinated and get your a** to work!!! Petty little snowflakes with petty little lives!

          1. Ya because it’s only state employees and medical personnel filling the hospitals to capacity. When we are gone and the hospitals are still filled to capacity crime is out of control more then it is now. The DHS benefits are taking twice as long to go through and the list goes on I’m going to laugh. Oh and don’t forget you can’t replace us with unvaccinated and the vaxxed are just lining up to fill jobs where I work. Lol

  2. When you deal with dictators like Kate there is no hope for anything that makes sense. Abortion is ok as it is my body like they say but your body don’t count when you are controlled by people abusing power and running rough shad over the people.

    1. As the Supreme Court ruled in Jacobson v. Massachusetts, no one has the liberty to endanger others. As Justice Harlan wrote, “real liberty for all could not exist under the operation of a principle which recognizes the right of each individual person to use his own liberty, whether in respect of his person or his property, regardless of the injury that may be done to others.” You don’t have the right to go around infecting others with a serious, preventable infectious disease.

      1. So I guess you vaccinated people don’t spread the virus huh? I’m pretty sure they already said you do. Having the shot may help with your symptoms and that also is a very scary senerio because you may not feel the symptoms when you have the shot but are still out there spreading it to innocent people. What part of that don’t you people understand? When people say your super carriers that’s what that means. So keep pushing everyone to get the shot so they can keep spreading the virus without even knowing that they have it. Sure makes alot of sense to me NOT!!!!

              1. They are talking about transmission levels Barney. If you have vaxed people walking around spreading it as much as unvaxed than vaccine mandates do nothing to slow the spread. In fact they may actually make it worse as you have more asymptomatic spreaders.

                1. But if more are vaccinated, the burden on hospitals where most COVID-19 hospitalizations are unvaccinated will drop, right? Since the vaccine by and large prevents severe symptoms?

                2. Nope. There is no metric by which vaccination makes “it” worse. None. Vaccinated people are less likely to be infected with COVID variants than unvaccinated people, less likely to be severely sickened by COVID, less likely to be hospitalized because of COVID and less likely to die from COVID.

                3. Asymptomatic spread occurs among the unvaccinated as well. And being vaccinated does lower chances of infection in the first place; if you don’t get infected you don’t spread the virus. So vaccination does not prevent 100%, but it does lower the chances of the disease spreading. It’s definitely not true that vaccination makes things worse because of “asymptomatic spreaders”, that strikes me as just a red herring that people against vaccination bring up.
                  Also, as Barney is saying, more vaccination means that hospitals are not as overburdened, and less death overall.

      2. The case was about the fine associated with not taking the vaccine. They ruled against him on that point. He paid the fine, but NEVER TOOK THE VACCINE. The supreme court also ruled that blacks were less than human. Do you still follow that? The supreme court can be wrong.

    2. OMG. Gov. Brown is trying to save lives and lessen the stress on hospitals. Stop listening to BS about your rights. No one has a right to make others sick.

    1. Well it is a virus without animal reservoirs that can be eradicated with vaccines. Unlike covid or influenza which do have animal reservoirs and can not be eradicated with vaccines. So we eradicated it silly. Covid is here to stay. Enjoy the boosters.

          1. Sharder, that first article explains it nicely. People think they get the “jab” and covid is goin got go away. But, like influenza (and other coronaviruses) it will not be eradicated because they have animal reservoirs. Not educating the public by the “experts” such as Fauci was very misleading. Not only are the current “vaccines” (2 of which are still not FDA approved) made for the original covid 19 and not delta, we will need boosters frequently for mutations. It will go on as long as the world governments ignore basic science.

            1. “It will go on as long as the world governments ignore basic science.”
              What does that mean? What is the science that world governments are ignoring, that could keep this virus from “going on”?
              Now, when you talk about ignoring basic science, it is true that the more people who don’t get vaccinated, the more people who allow Covid to spread, the more chances the virus has to mutate into other more contagious, more deadly variants. That’s why it’s a really, really good idea for as many people as possible to get vaccinated, wear masks and do whatever else we can to prevent the virus from spreading to new hosts, where it gets more chances to mutate.

    2. Polio is still around . . . however, it is now very rare . . . but, it could still rear its ugly head again. What is the difference in the action of the polio vaccine and the COVID vaccine? The polio vaccine stops the virus in its tracks and kills it. The COVID vaccine DOES NOT stop the virus, nor does it kill it. How many polio boosters have you gotten in your life-time? How many COVID boosters will you need in your life-time? BTW, polio had a much higher mortality rate. “The 1952 Polio epidemic was the worst outbreak in the nation’s history. Of nearly 58,000 cases reported that year, 3,145 people died.”

    3. It’s been nearly wiped off the planet by vaccines that weren’t 100% effective and required multiple doses and had an unknown prevention duration and could actually cause polio.

      Chances of death by polio contracted as an adult: about 0.15%.

      Thanks to everyone who took that vaccine, someday we’ll not need to administer it any longer. Just like the smallpox vaccine.

      1. How many doses? 3 good for life. How many doses for COVID?
        Chances of death by polio contracted as a child???
        Polio is still a serious issue in parts of the globe.

  3. Such a bunch of fake and phonies. Just tell them you don’t want to. Be adults. These sad and sorry political type games are pathetic and you all are cowards. Take the damn shot already, my goodness. None of us that do are dying of have side effects. Grow up or go to Idaho. They like weak minded bureaucrats that follow Youtube over science

      1. If you don’t get the vaccine, you’re part of the control group for the experiment. Given that our hospitals aren’t getting overrun by the 100+ million people who got the jab, I’d say it’s looking pretty good for the vaccinated group in this experiment.

        1. Read my post directly below . . . We are less than a year into vaccination of the general public. What will happen in year 2 or 4? How about effects/adverse reactions to the vaccine in 10 years? I can see your answer now . . . “I didn’t know or realize the long term effects of getting the vaccine.” Or . . . “I know we didn’t look at what the vaccine could do over time . . . but everyone was yelling we should get the vaccine!”

    1. Google “The Cutter Incident” . . . They started working on the polio vaccine in 1935. After through testing, inoculation of the general public started in 1954. Then came “The Cutter Incident” in 1955. In the case of the COVID vaccine, they didn’t start working on it until last year. Less than a year later, inoculation of the general public started. Adverse reactions are being reported daily and you want me to “trust” the science???

          1. First is the VAERS listings which are not corroborated deaths caused by the vaccine, just submitted reports. CDC warns that folks are misusing the data.
            Second is one case, a rare side-effect. Sad and tragic, for sure.

            1. Not corroborated??? “In this study in a nationwide mass vaccination setting, the BNT162b2 vaccine was not associated with an elevated risk of most of the adverse events examined. The vaccine was associated with an excess risk of myocarditis (1 to 5 events per 100,000 persons). The risk of this potentially serious adverse event and of many other serious adverse events was substantially increased after SARS-CoV-2 infection. (Funded by the Ivan and Francesca Berkowitz Family Living Laboratory Collaboration at Harvard Medical School and Clalit Research Institute.)”

                1. So now you admit that there is corroboration to go with the VAERS data? I don’t remember where, maybe the above link, that showed they were corroborating through autopsy. If that’s the case, that’s pretty strong corroboration. The question still would be, are they going that deep here, when someone dies within days of getting the vaccination? I don’t believe they are at this point.

        1. Barney,
          You really are part of the problem if you deny that people have not had serious adverse reactions and even died from taking this experimental vaccine.. I as do many others know someone personally who got the jab and within 1 week had a serious medical episode and died shortly there after. These events are to random to not link to jab.. You would have to be an ignorant fool to convince yourself otherwise.. Or just believe every left leaning link that comes your way..

          1. I never said that. But dying after a vaccine is given of course does not necessarily mean the vaccine caused or played a role in the death. If doctors can confirm that and will talk to us or any media outlet on the record, it would be a very important story for any media outlet to follow up on. Until then, I’m not sure what you would have us do.

            1. I guess you can say the same for a very large majority of people that have passed away this year. They were very ill, advanced age, heart disease, etc……but they were tested for COVID and of course that is what the cause of their death was accredited to. So a vaccine doesn’t necessarily cause a death, same goes for COVID. Numbers are skewed, just my opinion

          2. You do realize that many, many more people have had “serious adverse reactions and even died” from getting Covid right? A much higher percentage than the adverse reactions from the vaccine.

            1. You do realize that we have nothing to see 2, 5, or 10 years down the road either. What if people that took the vaccine start having life threatening conditions/deaths 2 years from now? What if they start seeing birth defects related to the vaccine 2 years from now? Polio took 19 years of development before being given to the general population and 1 year later, had to be pulled, studied, reformulated, and retested before being given to the general population again.

  4. I don’t know why people argue this point. It doesn’t matter what YOU think, it matters what people are DOING. I work for the government. People are quitting by the handful on the daily. Pretty soon schools will be closed, law enforcement will be sparse, firefighters will be short handed and all the government buildings will be closed.

    Go ahead and bash those people all you want but don’t complain when there is nobody to call when your neighbor is blaring his music or nobody to plow the roads when it snows or deliver your mail

      1. Why Barney don’t you watch your own news program or read your own print? Lots of school districts are talking about it,. It’s not a secret. Oh wait, it was your competition that did an interview with the transportation supervisor on their challenges . My bad

      2. Barney, you might want to contact Mt. Bachelor on their issues with getting ready for ski season. I spoke to a patroller last night and since Mt. Bachelor has stated that you need to be vaccinated to be a volunteer ski patroller this year that out of 100 patrollers only 22 have said they will come back. This will affect how quickly you will get a response if you are injured on the slopes. A lot of people don’t want to be a guinea pig for big pharma and these mandates are going to cause a lot of staffing issues for many businesses. My prediction is that businesses are going to honor every religious or medical exception request they receive just to keep operating. Money is a very strong motivation, especially when Covid is not an issue for the vast majority of people.

      3. DOC and DHS. Six people just in my family that are not getting the shot and are leaving the state entirely. Problem with it is the state is saying nothing to employees about their plans so employees are not saying they are leaving.

  5. Wow. It’s almost like I could see the future when I’ve been saying for months, before the mandates started, which I knew the Democrats would try, would cause the biggest healthcare crisis you have ever seen.

  6. A lot of people are due for a booster shot. If you end up in the hospital your chart will say that you are not vaccinated due to the booster shot situation. Does not matter if you already received the J&J, Moderna or Pfizer Vaccine in the past. You will be labeled unvaccinated. Something no one is being told about.

  7. After Jefferson county commissioners had mask on in photo in the madras paper last week, i was hoping they decided to be leaders in the community to help stop this virus. But nope…as Wayne Fording tells his customers when they come into his maskless business.. ,”covid is a hoax”…That seems to be the commissioners belief.

  8. This pandemic has exposed the importance of education and the lack of trust in the government, which has been exploited by a madman. The pandemic will hit the rural communities hard because they are not exposed to diverse thought, therefore they can live in a bubble until they can’t, until it reaches their front door. But the fact is that they are part of our community and now we know who they are. These people are so afraid or angry that they will believe anything that their religion seems to support. Some are simply scared, moreso than the threat of getting the virus. Being tough is source of pride and a dedication to being unafraid. It is a sign of solidarity. Some are believing in their own right to their divine manifest destiny. We all want this to end. Unfortunately, for some, it will end in less voters because the illness is going to take them. We want Covid to end, but it’s not going to end until death do they part. And that is tragic indeed. But be careful, friends. For a man is not a God. He knows how to lead you and it seems you’ll follow him away from God. Nothing he prides himself in is of God. You are not safe dwelling in your obsession with the last days. Use your eyes, see! Use your ears, hear. This isn’t the way. I know you cannot hear. Your eyes and ears have closed. We grieve your loss, not just as workers. You’ve chosen a man who spews hate and wants you to fear your neighbors; a man who wants to be remembered, idolized, like a God. Just remember that.

  9. Okay, one more but then that’s it. In the South during the hookworm problem, people were the same way. Government mandates and educational materials were mocked. Eventually, they had to partner with churches. Neighborhood leaders. Trusted community partners to help people feel more comfortable. Of course, they didn’t have this massive level of manipulated disinformation campaign to exploit the fears of people, but I digress. Maybe try partnering with church leaders and congregations. Only they can undo this damage.

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