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COVID-19 impacts: Bend warming shelter to stay open

Bend emergency warming shelter 1226
Bend emergency warming shelter

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Many local agencies are making changes, closing facilities and canceling events related to the COVID-19 outbreak in Oregon. Here's a current status roundup, issued Monday morning by the Central Oregon Emergency Information Network.


NeighborImpact Announces Extension of Bend Warming Shelter
Bend, OR - NeighborImpact is pleased to announce a planned extension of the closure of the Bend Winter Warming Shelter. 

Preliminary agreement has been reached between NeighborImpact and Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson and county administrators to extend the winter shelter on a day-by-day basis. 

Any agreement is subject to final approval of the Deschutes County board of Commissioners.  Funding for the extension will be provided through Oregon Housing and Community Services and other partners.
The winter warming shelter had been scheduled to close on Monday,, but concerns about managing the spread of the new coronavirus and extremely cold weather this week prompted a cooperative scramble to find a way to extend the closure date. The shelter will be supplemented with motel vouchering and distribution of tents, sleeping bags, tarps and propane heaters.

The Bend Winter Warming shelter was originally conceived and organized by the Homeless Leadership Coalition, a group of advocates for intervening in and preventing homelessness in Central Oregon.

NeighborImpact agreed to provide the operational oversight of the facility when it opened in December.  Since opening, 240 unique individuals have accessed the shelter.  The January 2019 Point in Time count of homeless individuals in living in Central Oregon found 880 homeless people living in the region.  Numbers for 2020 have not yet been released. 

The Bend warming shelter is part of a regional tri-county network of shelters coordinated through the Homeless Leadership Coalition's winter shelter committee.  Local homeless advocates continue to coordinate response to needs of the homeless in this public health emergency.


All local K-12 schools will be closed beginning Monday, March 16 through Tuesday, March 31, per the order issued by Governor Kate Brown. At this time, students are expected to return to school on Wednesday, April 1.

St. Charles Health System is adopting significant changes in both visitor restrictions and care guidelines at all of its hospitals to protect patients and caregivers and to preserve critical safety supplies. Starting March 14, visitation is not permitted, and that will continue for the foreseeable future. To see a list of exemptions, visit the St. Charles website. 

St. Charles caregivers are performing respiratory illness screenings at the entrances of all St. Charles hospitals and clinics. Caregivers and approved visitors will be subject to these screenings by answering a series of questions. Elective surgeries and other select non-urgent outpatient services will be postponed starting today for the next two weeks through March 28.

Following an emergency board meeting, the Bend Park and Recreation District made the decision to close facilities from public use beginning at the conclusion of facility business hours on Sunday, March 15. The temporary closure is through Sunday, March 29. Facilities closed to the public include: Juniper Swim & Fitness Center, The Pavilion, Art Station, Bend Senior Center, District Office and Park Services. Registration programs are also canceled through March 29.

Parks, trails, athletic fields, and off-leash dog areas, remain open to the public. Additional details about the changes can be found on the district’s webpage.

All Deschutes Public Library branches will close to the public starting at 7 p.m. Monday, March 16 with tentative plans to reopen on April 1. Staff will continue to answer the phones 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. To learn more about online and digital resources, visit the library’s webpage

Bend City Manager Eric King has declared a local state of emergency as a result of the COVID-19. According to city officials, the declaration allows more flexibility and authorization for the city manager to take actions to help protect the health and safety of the community. The City of Bend is canceling committee meetings, project-based meetings and open houses in Bend through April 8. These include:

  • Empire Corridor Improvements Open House on March 17 
  • Two public open houses on March 19 for the Newport Corridor Improvements Project. 
  • Bend Planning Commission meeting March 23.

At this time, scheduled City Council meetings will continue to occur, but with social distancing modifications. Learn more at

The City of Bend Police Department will be evaluating calls for service to determine if they can be handled by phone, rather than in person. Members of the public are encouraged to utilize the department’s online reporting portal for appropriate non-emergency crimes or call 541-322-2960. Officers will continue to respond to emergency calls 24 hours a day and 7 days per week.

The Board of County Commissioners issued an emergency declaration in response to COVID-19. This emergency declaration authorizes the county to implement emergency actions, access more resources, and take appropriate steps to recover some of the costs associated with the County’s response to this disease.

All public meetings, events, and tours at Sheriff’s Office facilities will be canceled for one month. Citizen ride-alongs, women’s self-defense course and new Concealed Handgun License classes and appointments will be rescheduled. 

The Sheriff’s Office has also implemented Phase 1 of the Jail Pandemic Plan to try to prevent COVID-19 from affecting Corrections staff and jail inmate population. Attorney and inmate social visits are not being affected by this change.

Crook County Emergency Management with the support of Crook County Court and the City of Prineville approved a County Emergency Health Declaration. This declaration will support the need for resources whether that is personnel or supplies. Learn more at

All city committee and commission meetings are canceled until April 13. City Council will meet on March 17 and postpone future meetings until April 14, 2020. This timeframe is subject to change as the situation evolves. Redmond Police Department has suspended public fingerprinting service and ride-alongs. Residents are encouraged to file non-emergency police reports online at

Water utility clients should consider paying their bills by mail, online using the web portal, or by phone at 866-506-8162. A drive up drop box is available 24 hours a day in the parking lot behind the City Hall building at 411 SW 9th Street. 

Central Oregon Community College is hosting final exams for winter term during the week of March 16 and are expected to be delivered remotely for most classes. There will be no classes March 30 through April 3. Faculty will use this time to develop alternative instructional delivery methods and materials. Spring term classes will begin on Monday, April 6, one week later than originally scheduled, and will begin with remote instruction when possible. Additional details can be found at

Winter term finals week exams and activities will be delivered remotely where possible. Where remote teaching, coursework and testing is not possible, maximum social distancing measures will be utilized. All spring term courses, labs and exams will be delivered remotely, where possible. Where remote teaching, coursework and testing is not possible, maximum social distancing measures will be utilized. This will be evaluated bi-weekly.

OSU-Cascades has canceled or postponed all events, including non-OSU events held on campus. The status of these measures will be evaluated every two weeks.

COEIN’s website, provides a collective resource for up-to-date information. Access to accurate, timely information both locally and nationally is encouraged. Our County Public Health experts point to the Oregon Health Authority and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as good sources of information.

Daily situation updates are available via email at

The Central Oregon Emergency Information Network (COEIN) includes Deschutes County Health Services, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, St. Charles Health System, Crook County Health Department, Crook County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County Health Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, tri-county public schools, City of Bend, Bend Police, Bend Fire & Rescue, and others. COEIN’s purpose is to collect, coordinate and distribute timely and accurate information.

Accommodation Information for People with Disabilities   

To obtain this information in an alternate format such as Braille, large print, electronic formats, etc. please contact the COEIN JIC at 541.316.0087 or

Article Topic Follows: Central Oregon

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