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C.O. COVID-19 business impacts: Indian Head Casino, Sunriver Nature Center closing, more


BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Wednesday brings a closure announcement from Indian Head Casino, as well as notices from Central Electric Co-Op, Summit Medical Group, Avion Water Co. and Market of Choice, and an offer of free acupuncture treatments.



Warm Springs, OR -- We are currently going through an unprecedented period in our country and across the world, we have been working diligently to remain ahead of this quickly evolving situation. Our first priority is how this impacts the lives of our tribal members, valued employees, and our guests. Therefore, we have made the decision to voluntarily suspend operations at Indian Head Casino for 15 days, effective today, March 18th at 6pm.

Plateau Travel Plaza - Madras, OR

Plateau Travel Plaza’s Three Teepees Café will be serving to go orders only, order at 541-777-2826 and we will have your order ready for pick-up. Our Fuel service, propane, gaming room and retail operations will be available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have increased cleanliness protocols throughout the property, including the deployment of additional hand sanitizers.

Indian Head Casino Enterprises is committed to supporting all of our employees at Indian Head Casino and Plateau Travel Plaza during this difficult time.

As we progress through this rapidly developing situation, we will provide updates through email. Also, please keep an eye on our web site and Facebook page for additional announcements.

I am truly grateful for you, our guests, and our valued team members. Please take care of yourselves, each other and your families.

Jeffrey Carstensen CEO

Plateau Travel Plaza is in the Jefferson County Industrial Park at 215 NE Cherry Lane in Madras, Oregon. at 541-777-2815

Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory and Second Tern Thrift Store to Close in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

To support the health and safety of our community, the Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory (SNCO) will close starting on Wednesday, March 18 to help slow the spread of coronavirus. Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory and Second Tern Thrift Store will remain closed through March 31 and will reopen on April 1. SNCO will reevaluate the situation as the potential reopening date draws near.

All programs that were scheduled during that time have been canceled. In addition, the difficult decision was made to cancel all Spring Break activities and programs scheduled during the week of March 23.  We are reaching out individually to those who have already registered for these events.

“We strongly feel that this is the best course of action to keep the community, our staff, volunteers and animals safe during this unprecedented time,” said Board President David Buhaly.

Families are encouraged to check SNCO’s website at  for program updates and information pertaining to resuming regular business hours.

“We encourage everyone to take some time each day to get out and enjoy nature and the fresh air,” said Executive Director, Abby Rowland. “Whether on the trails at SNCO, walks at a park or trail near you, or playing in your own yard, being outside and connecting with nature will be a great way to stay active and engaged with the world around you.”


Since its founding in 1968, the non-profit Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory has provided a wide array of environmental and astronomy programs, events, and exhibits for residents and visitors. The Observatory offers the largest number of telescopes for public viewing in the United States. Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. More information is available at


Second Tern Thrift Store provides revenues from the sale of donated items to the Sunriver Nature Center & Oregon Observatory to further its education and environmental services to the community. More information is available at

Letter from Economic Development for Central Oregon CEO Roger Lee:

EDCO Extended Family Members:

These are indeed interesting times in which we live.

With daily changes and measures designed to slow the COVID-19 virus spread across our nation, state and region, we are seeing current and future waves of impact roll across our economy. EDCO wants to you to know that we are currently taking all measures necessary, with the most current information available, to prioritize the health and well-being of our staff and clients. Each member of our staff has the ability to work remotely so that we may provide services uninterrupted. We also continue to remain focused on the health of our local and regional economy, which is being severely impacted. We want to assure you – our partners, members, sponsors, vendors and volunteers – that we’re 100% committed to this important work throughout whatever period of time required for “normalcy” to return.

As such, we will continue to do everything possible, using all available tools, to keep our region thriving economically. Until this is behind us, we will be using technology to help augment our face-to-face meetings with the region’s traded-sector businesses, members and prospective student interns. Additionally, we are working to shift our events to a virtual platform while keeping the same high-quality production and outstanding content from our speakers. And where in-person interaction is simply irreplaceable (i.e. some of our largest events), we will look to reschedule.

While this particular shock to our economy is new and extremely impactful, it will pass. We’re looking at this period as a rare, forced opportunity to improve, adapt and learn. We encourage impacted businesses to re-evaluate options around inventory, supply-chain, cash flow management, accounts payable and receivable, insurance, use of technology, and staffing. To that end, we’ve created a new page on our website with some ideas and resources to consider. One of the most inspiring aspects of working in economic development is the opportunity to see on a daily basis the creativity, ingenuity, resourcefulness, and perseverance deployed by businesses and the people behind them.

It’s worth noting that we have a number of reports from our local manufacturing and tech companies of record sales and production even amidst the chaos, temporary business closures, layoffs, general uncertainty, and runs on toilet paper.

It will not be easy, but we will together, forge a path forward through this latest challenge while doing our part in protecting public health. 

As always, we welcome your feedback, suggestions and partnership.



Notice from Central Electric Cooperative:

For the health and safety of our members and employees, CEC is closing our offices in Bend, Redmond and Sisters to walk-in traffic. We encourage members to take the following steps during this health crisis:

1.      Pay Online or Use Secure Drop Boxes: CEC encourages members to consider some sign-up for SmartHub—a web and mobile app—that allows you to pay your bills online securely. To use SmartHub online, please visit our website,, and click on “Register for Online Access.” You may also download the SmartHub app through the Apple App Store or the Google Play store. Or, you may leave your payment in one of the locked drop boxes located in front of our Bend, Redmond, and Sisters Service Centers.

2.      Financial Assistance: Central Electric is temporarily suspending disconnections and late fees for non-payment. Members who need to make payment arrangements should contact CEC to set-up a payment plan. Those who need additional financial assistance should talk with a Customer Service Representative about Project Helping Hand. To learn more, visit our website and click on Project Helping Hand under the Community tab.

Should members have any questions, please call 541-548-2144, and a CEC Customer Service Representative will be ready to assist you.


MARCH 18, 2020, BEND, OR – In the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, Summit Medical Group Oregon (SMGOR) today announced a significant expansion to its telemedicine and virtual triage services.  SMGOR now has the platform and functionality to offer video medical visits with an urgent care provider to any county residents experiencing flu-like symptoms or concerned about COVID-19 exposure. The largest independent multispecialty physician group in Central Oregon, SMGOR is aiming to help make it easy for patients to seek care, while mitigating exposure for all health care workers and patients to the coronavirus.

Individuals with a cough, fever, and/or shortness of breath developed in the last seven days can utilize SMGOR’s new telemedicine platform to visit with a physician or advanced practice provider on their phone, tablet or computer. To use the service, patients should call 541-706-2319, and an SMGOR care team member will assist them in setting up a virtual visit appointment.  The care team will also register the patient, establish an online medical record account, and help the patient download the video visit app from the Google or Apple app store. The telemedicine visits are approved by Medicare and nearly all insurance companies in Oregon.  Video visits are not for emergency services and patients experiencing life threatening emergencies still need to call 911 for care.  

“We’ve worked quickly to set up and test our telemedicine platform, expanding on our nurse triage services and offering patients direct visits with an urgent care physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant.  These visits significantly mitigate the risk of exposure for patients and health care workers while offering patients high quality medical consultation services from their homes,” says Russell Massine, MD, Chief Physician Executive, Summit Medical Group Oregon. “We hope this will lessen the burden on our neighboring hospitals and provide patients with the reassurance of a virtual provider visit during this challenging time.”

Dr. Massine adds that because it is still cold and flu season, and allergy season is starting, SMGOR’s offices and urgent care centers continue to see a significant number of patients with these symptoms. “Right now, if you’re feeling ill, it is still much more likely to be a cold or the flu rather than the coronavirus. As with the flu, most people who get coronavirus only experience mild viral symptoms such as fever, cough, muscle pain or weakness, and fatigue, and will experience a complete recovery.”

SMGOR is rapidly expanding its ability to offer telemedicine visits with providers in other specialty areas, including primary care, infectious diseases; pulmonology; cardiology, nephrology; allergy; and many more.

SMGOR continues to follow the latest CDC guidelines with COVID-19. Along with the CDC, SMGOR recommends that patients at risk for COVID-19 who are not yet showing symptoms or have mild symptoms be evaluated virtually before going to an urgent care facility, doctor’s office or emergency department.

About Summit Medical Group Oregon

Formed in 2018 through a strategic partnership between Bend Memorial Clinic (BMC) and Summit Health Management, Summit Medical Group Oregon’s comprehensive care model includes Summit Medical Group Oregon – Bend Memorial Clinic, the largest physician-owned multi-specialty group in Central Oregon, and Summit Medical Group Oregon – Bend Urology Associates, a specialty urological care clinic offering treatment of urinary tract disorders to the Central and Eastern Oregon communities. Summit Medical Group Oregon’s 125 providers offer primary care, urgent care, and over 30 medical specialty and surgical clinics to patients throughout Central Oregon.  For more information, please visit

Until further notice, Avion Water Company, Inc.’s office will not be open to the public.

For water emergencies please call (541) 382-5342 or 911

We are available via phone at (541) 382-5342 from 8am to 4pm Monday through Friday.  Please be patient with us as our calls will be routed through our call center and you will be called back by one of our office employees.  

**Please note the phone number calling you back will not be the Avion Office phone number**

Options for bill payment include:

  • Cash and checks: Please use the blue payment drop box located at the exit of the driveway across from our mailbox. As we will not be available to make change, any over payments will be a credit on the account for the following month.
  • Website Payments: Customers with established online profiles can make credit/debit card transactions at

  • Phone payments: Please call 541-382-5342. You will be asked to leave a message and someone will call you back to make a payment. Credit/Debit card transactions only. A $0.75 convenience fee applies.
  • Mailing payments: Please use the address of PO Box 3936 Seattle, WA 98124-3936 for a faster processing time.
  • Bill Payments: Can continue through your financial institution.

Oregon grocer announces additional pay to support hourly employees through the COVID-19 pandemic

EUGENE, Ore. — Eugene-based Market of Choice is temporarily giving hourly employees an additional $2/hour in recognition of the hard work and dedication they have shown as their workloads have increased since the coronavirus pandemic ramped up across Oregon and the nation.

“In the face of these unexpected and trying times, our employees have emerged as true heroes, working tirelessly to provide essential food and supplies,” says Market of Choice CEO Rick Wright.

“Despite the additional pressures of unprecedented customer traffic and supply chain challenges that we have not seen in our industry’s history, our employees have stepped up to the plate, working with urgency while maintaining a sense of calm and caring that has continued to earn the respect and confidence of our customers,” Wright says.

The wage increase will be applied immediately and retroactively from Sunday, March 15, 2020 for the approximately 1,200 hourly employees at Market of Choice’s 10 stores in Oregon. The wage increase will remain until the extraordinary workload is reduced.

“We appreciate our employees for embracing the Market of Choice values of exceptional service, quality, atmosphere and teamwork during this time of crisis,” says Wright. “We are confident that we will get through this by working together and supporting one another.”

About Market of Choice

Market of Choice offers an extensive selection of natural, organic, conventional and local products at affordable prices. Staffed by friendly people who care about the communities where they live and work, family-owned and operated Market of Choice has 10 stores in Oregon, located in Ashland, Bend, Corvallis, Eugene, Portland and West Linn.

Deschutes Acupuncture offers free treatments

I own Deschutes Acupuncture and most of my patients are cancelling their appointments because they want to save money, are afraid of getting ill, etc. So, I have a lot of time on my hands and the resources to treat people.

I've decided to offer 30 minute acupuncture treatments to boost immunity and to help relieve stress and anxiety during this difficult time. I'm going to keep my doors open for as long as possible and offer this service by donation only. No suggested amount, just whatever one can afford for this service.

I currently have 4 treatment rooms, however am limiting treatments to one patient at a time to reduce the spread of any illness. My office is clean and safe. 

I know there are some who could really benefit from this-please share as you wish. 

With appreciation,

Dr. Crystal Ford DACM, LAc.
Deschutes Acupuncture, LLC
(541) 429-0900
339 SW Century Dr. Suite 103, Bend, OR  97702


Dr. Crystal Ford DACM, LAc.Deschutes Acupuncture, LLC
(541) 429-0900339 SW Century Dr. Suite 103, Bend, OR

Notice from Tumalo Feed Co. Co. Steakhouse Co-Owner Jennifer Thisius:

Tumalo Feed Co. is open for takeout for Lunch and Dinner Wednesday -Sunday from 11 am-7 pm.

We have added family meal packages as well as a few pasta dishes and are still doing steaks, burgers, fish, salads, etc. We can take orders over the phone and will even deliver the food out to peoples cars if they want!

We are also offering delivery within a 10-mile radius of the restaurant and we are in the process of getting our takeout menu up on DoorDash for delivery further than 10 miles. 

Message to Best Buy customers from CEO Corrie Barry:

To Our Customers,

Earlier this week, we announced changes to how Best Buy will run our business in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Against this backdrop, I wanted to share some of my thoughts about what we’re facing and how Best Buy is responding.

Right now, our role as a consumer electronics retailer is rapidly shifting and we are striving to make the best decisions with two goals in mind: The first is to protect our customers, employees and their families. The second is to do the best we can to serve the millions of Americans who are looking to us for increasingly vital technology tools to stay connected, as well as household necessities.

You are turning to us for help getting the technology that allows you to continue running a small business or shift your usual job from an office setting to your home. You are turning to us to help your children continue their education outside of their classroom. And, you are turning to us for necessities that allow you to store and prepare food for your family.

With these needs in mind and given our commitment to keep our employees and customers safe, we are shortening our store hours this week, and on March 23, will begin permitting only a small number of customers into the store at a time so we can enforce the necessary social distancing guidelines. We are also working to enhance our curbside service and strongly recommend you take advantage of this whenever possible.

As for our employees, let me start by saying this: We will not make any employee work if they aren’t comfortable doing so. Further, if an employee is sick or needs to take care of their children home from school, we are paying them. Additionally, with our reduced hours and less staff in the stores, we are paying affected employees for their regularly scheduled hours.

We are in a difficult time and find ourselves in uncharted waters. My best wishes to you and your family as we navigate the days ahead together.

Corie Barry, Chief Executive Officer

Best Buy

From JCPenney:

Temporary store closings begin this evening The safety of our associates, customers and communities is always a priority for JCPenney, and our thoughts are with everyone during this critical time.

In response to the evolving global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, JCPenney is temporarily closing all stores and business offices until April 2. We're taking these steps based on recommendations from local, state and federal health officials. Customers can continue to shop online at our flagship store,, or through our app.

Thank you for being such a valued customer as we navigate this time, together. Check here for the latest updates.

Please be safe and take care of yourself, your family and loved ones.


Jill Soltau

Chief Executive Officer

Article Topic Follows: Central Oregon

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