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COVID-19 govt. news: Bend, Redmond senior centers closing, city of Bend, Legislature, more


State prison visitations canceled

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The city of Bend said Thursday it 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 of Bend is cancelling some meetings and open houses, effective today through April 8.

Here's the rest of the city's announcement:

  • All project-based public meetings and/or open houses are cancelled.
  • All standing advisory committee meetings and activities are cancelled.
  • At this time, scheduled City Council meetings will continue to occur, but with social distancing modifications including reducing meeting length, increased space between chairs and encouragement of livestreaming options. Meetings can be livestreamed at

These changes aim to protect the health of our community as well as our work force, so we can continue to provide crucial City services to our customers. City employees are encouraged to stay home when they’re sick. The City is also encouraging telecommuting and remote conferencing meetings for employees when possible. The situation is continually evolving and we may need to make additional changes in the future.

For information on COVID-19:

·         Deschutes County Health Services for countywide updates:

·         Oregon Health Authority for statewide updates:

·         Centers for Disease Control for U.S. updates:

·         Central Oregon Emergency Information Network (COEIN) for local updates:

·         Community members can call 2-1-1 for general information and questions about COVID-19.


Bend Senior Center to temporarily close; other park and recreation programs canceled

Bend, Ore. – Bend Park and Recreation District is taking several steps to limit community exposure to COVID-19 in accordance with state officials and public health guidance.

The Bend Senior Center will suspend service effective at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, March 13.  Senior programming located at Bend Senior Center is canceled through at least April 8 and will be re-evaluated based on community conditions. Therapeutic Recreation programs for adults and youth are also canceled through at least April 8.

In addition, some programs and classes at Juniper Swim & Fitness Center are being canceled because they primarily serve older adults. Free Family Night at Juniper scheduled for Saturday, March 14, and the Wally Cup at The Pavilion scheduled to begin Friday, March 13, are canceled due to event size recommendation by Oregon Governor Brown.

In partnership with Bend-La Pine Schools, Kids INC will continue to operate in schools along with Enrichment Wednesday programs. However, BPRD spring break camps and other recreation programs scheduled in schools will be relocated to non-school locations or canceled.

“The district is taking unprecedented measures to do what we can to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Don Horton, Executive Director. “These measures are intended to help protect the most vulnerable populations we serve and to safeguard employees as much as possible.”

Updates are at

Recreation Facilities

We have increased cleaning procedures, including:

  • In the evenings, custodial staff are deep cleaning our fitness equipment to be ready for the following day.
  • During open hours, staff are frequently wiping down touch screens, counters, door handles and other surfaces. 
  • Purell has been placed in our facilities and in our stationary hand sanitizer stations to disinfect your hands.  
  • In our fitness facilities, we encourage facility users to wipe down pieces of equipment before and after each use. 
  • CDC and BPRD signs are in place with reminders for patrons.


  • Park Services staff installed signage in all park restrooms encouraging hand washing.

School-based Programs

  • Our Kids INC employees are to follow school district procedures for enhanced cleanliness. 

BPRD has also placed restrictions on employees to help prevent spread of COVID-19.  These restrictions include:

  • Suspension of out of town travel to meetings or conferences;
  • Meetings may not exceed 25 participants in a confined space and three feet of space is required for social distancing; and
  • Capacity in the District Office Community Room will be reduced by 50% to ensure social distancing. 40 or fewer participants will be allowed for reservations in the room through April 8.

District staff are also asked to stay home if feeling ill and to wash hands frequently.


Redmond Senior Center closed until further notice

The Redmond Senior Center Board of Directors held an emergency meeting Thursday morning to address the issue of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its potential impact on Central Oregonians, particularly older individuals.

In compliance with State and Federal directives, and in consultation with the Deschutes County Health Department, the Board of Directors voted to close the Center until further notice, starting Friday, March 13.

All services and programs are suspended, except the Meals on Wheels Program, our essential service.  This program will operate as usual, delivering meals to over 100 individuals, Monday through Friday.

We are especially grateful to our committed volunteers who are continuing to provide meal deliveries.  Protocols for deliveries will align with CDC and health department guidelines so we are able to protect the health of the people we are so privileged to serve, and the volunteers who make this program successful.

Our primary focus continues to be providing quality senior services that include the safety of our seniors, volunteers, and staff. Questions or inquiries can be made by calling 541-548-6325 or at


Oregon Dept. of Corrections cancels state prison visitations

Following the State of Emergency issued in response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Oregon, the Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC) has suspended all visiting at all 14 state prisons. This is the first time ODOC has suspended visiting state-wide. This change is effective March 13, 2020 and will be reviewed in 30 days. This restriction will include non-contact visits where people speak to one another through glass. This will also include limiting institution access to only essential staff.

ODOC has no known or suspected cases of COVID-19 at this time. One adult in custody (AIC) has been tested for COVID-19, and the test came back negative.

“All of us at the Oregon Department of Corrections value visiting and especially the connections that visiting affords to family and friends. We know these relationships reduce the risk of future criminal behavior. However, during this State of Emergency, it is critical we take appropriate precautions necessary to protect our employees and those in our care and custody. This decision was not made lightly, and we understand the impact that this necessary action will have on the people in our custody and on their families. We are working hand-in-hand with our state and local partners to keep our institutions as healthy as possible. We will resume normal visiting schedules as soon as humanly possible,” said Director Colette S. Peters.

ODOC is collaborating with our local public health officials, coordinating with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), and following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to prevent the spread COVID-19. ODOC Director Colette S. Peters is a member of Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s Coronavirus Response Team.

ODOC is following OHA’s guidance on long-term care facilities and law enforcement recommendations. These changes are to protect AICs who are at the highest risk inside our institutions. ODOC’s Health Services employees have identified 1,400 AICs who are over 60 years old, immunocompromised, or multiple comorbid medical conditions.

ODOC is working with our AIC communications services providers to provide alternatives to in-person visiting at a reduced cost. ODOC joins a list of other state corrections agencies that have suspended access. This is the first time DOC has suspended visiting state-wide. 


Legislature Appoints Special Joint Committee on Coronavirus Response

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Legislature will convene a Special Joint Committee on Coronavirus Response to make timely recommendations for legislative action as the state works to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The committee, which will do most of its work virtually to protect public health, will be charged with the following tasks:

  • Identify actions to support short-term economic relief to low-income workers and small businesses. These actions could include wage supports, support for those not eligible for state programs (such as sick leave and unemployment insurance), protection from housing instability, and more.
  • Monitor public health strategies and response for COVID-19 and consider additional statutory changes to assist with the public health emergency.
  • Make timely budget and policy recommendations to the Legislature.

The following members have been appointed for this important work:

  • Senator Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay), Co-Chair
  • Rep. Paul Holvey (D-Eugene), Co-Chair
  • Senator Brian Boquist (R-Dallas)
  • Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend)
  • Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward (D-NW Portland/Beaverton)
  • Senator Kathleen Taylor (D-Milwaukie)
  • Rep. Greg Barreto (R-Cove)
  • Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Happy Valley)
  • Rep. Paul Evans (D-Monmouth)
  • Rep. Raquel Moore-Green (R-Salem)
  • Rep. Andrea Salinas (D-Lake Oswego)
  • Rep. Duane Stark (R-Grants Pass)

The time and location of the first committee meeting has yet to be determined.

Article Topic Follows: Bend

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