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C.O. county officials join in letter asking Gov. Brown to not shut down businesses

Warn of 'devastating' impacts, but governor's aide says public indoor dining remains 'a particularly risky activity'

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Crook County Judge Seth Crawford is one of seven Central Oregon county commissioners who signed a letter to Gov. Kate Brown, urging her not to move their counties into the restrictive Extreme Risk category on Friday.

Crawford says the move will cause an extensive amount of damage to local businesses.

"What I’m hearing from them is there just able to get their staffing levels up again from the last shutdown, and for it to come so quickly after that, to shut it down again, is going to be devastating," Crawford said Wednesday.

The letter sent to the governor under the auspices of the Association of Oregon Counties and the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association was signed by 79 elected officials from 27 counties within 24 hours.

Crawford also signed a second letter, sent separately by Crook County officials.

Crawford says he does not believe that restaurants and other local businesses are the cause of the most recent outbreaks, yet they are paying the price.

"I think we need to see those numbers," Crawford said. . If they are going to go and take that step and shut somebody's business down, then I think they owe it to those businesses to say, 'Well, here this is the data that says it's extremely dangerous and there's a huge spread of Covid in your place of business.'"

Vicky Ryan of the Crook County Health Department says she hasn’t seen that evidence be presented, either.

"Through our investigative process, we have identified that the majority of the cases that we are experiencing now is through local social gatherings," Ryan said. "There's very few tied to workplace outbreaks or public outbreaks."

Crawford says he hopes that Governor Brown will understand where he’s coming from.

"I hope that she looks at what's going on in my community, and has compassion for these businesses and these employees and just the people of Crook County and Prineville," Crawford said.

Asked about the frequently heard claim that restaurants are not the cause of major outbreaks and are being treated unfairly, Charles Boyle, the governor's deputy communications director, provided this statement to NewsChannel 21:

"We continue to follow science and data during this pandemic, so we can stop the rapid spread of COVID-19 in our communities and save lives. We know the most effective measures to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19: keeping physical distance, wearing face coverings, and limiting indoor gatherings. These are the same health and safety measures that protected Oregonians during the winter surge.

"COVID-19 spreads more quickly indoors, where there is less air circulation, which is why a number of indoor activities are curtailed in Extreme Risk, in addition to indoor dining. We also know that eating and drinking involves sitting for long periods of time indoors without wearing a mask, and often involves people meeting who do not live in the same household. That makes it a particularly risky activity, when COVID-19 is so widespread in our communities.

"The fastest way we can get our restaurants and other businesses open again is for Oregonians to get vaccinated and follow health and safety restrictions, so we can stop this fourth surge of COVID-19 and put it behind us," Boyle concluded

Business / Central Oregon / Crook County / News / Top Stories
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Leslie Cano

Leslie Cano is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Leslie here.



  1. SETH !!! STOP ASKING ! Put up a road block at the Tom McCall roundabout and ban anyone from entering Prineville who doesn’t have a local address ! If Kate Brown wants to play the solitude game- we’ll oblige ! You sut down Facebook construction- I guarantee the wicked witch in Salem will sing another tune. Time to play hardball with this dictator and her security detail of Wussies ! That’s right Lerten (You bag of hot air) I said Wussies !!!

    1. Wishy, thank god you don’t have any power in politics, you’re just a crazy person on the internet, on the internet all day. I admire the mayors effort on this, he’s absolutely right. And he’s making a very professional approach, I wish Kate Brown would have compassion.

      1. “on the internet all day” ??? I challenge you to back up that false claim with a single post I’ve written weekday- after 7:00 a.m. or before 4:00 p.m. ! If you can- I’ll apologize and go silent for a week ! If you can’t the same holds true- you apologize- and go silent for a week… deal ??? Cmon loudmouth- I’m laying down the gauntlet to your false accusations… some of you never learn !

      2. She is too arrogant. Never stand in the way of the enemy destroying herself! Nobody not even the self proclaimed queen Brown herself can stop what’s coming! Hold the line, it’s coming👍

      3. BTW SCI-Fi… You can “wish” all you want- Kovid Kate will not oblige- she is hell bent on absolute destruction of a state she was neither born or raised in. You (like hundreds of thousands of others) are under attack- and you don’t even realize it ! Do you not think that you are being “measured” and studied for future abuse ??? You are an absolute weak-arsed lame joke- you are what is wrong with much of ‘Merika today… yer so busy askin’ “is this really happening”- that you have no idea that you’ve lost the war ! Kalamity Kate will “NEVER” give up her position- her gains- her authority ! You will have to “take it” from her… you best be prepared !

      4. We know she won’t as she will take it other way and be offended like he’s questioning her science. We saw how she replied after Christmas to the prineville mayor giving him a stern warning that anyone opens up before she gives ok will face strict punishment.

      1. Yet you feel compelled to respond with absolute futility ! How hopeless are you- the dimwit who does nothing but prove their lack of intellect on such an open forum ! You need to just move along- you have nothing to offer… How sad !

        1. Wishy is so insane, hahah it’s hilarious. He get’s fired up about EVERYTHING, even when teasing him about being on the internet all day. No I don’t have any proof or links to prove that your on the internet all day, HAHA! Oh my god dude, I’m literally laughing out loud right now. And no I will not make a bet or play the game about not posting for a week, I just busted out my old N64 and I’ll be playing that until I lose interest, then, back in the attic it goes. Have fun yelling at everyone Wishy Witchy.

          1. “No I don’t have any proof or links to prove that your on the internet all day”… So a deal’s a deal- you and all your other fake poster names get to go quiet for a week… go sit in the corner with the dunce cap on… and while you sit there mulling over your bad behavior- everybody else can contemplate how once again- the moderation efforts here need a massive overall for those who admit to “teasing- which leads to bullying- which leads to offensive and divisive attacks on everyone within ear shot. Stuff you learned not to do in grade-school- but it now looks more like the inmates runnin’ the asylum. If this is a clear reflection of society out there under Biden and Brown- then I’d say the lock-downs have some value… keeping the haters off the streets !

        2. You really need therapy Wishy, and tell your therapist about how evil your governor is. And how she’s trying takeover the world and you’re the only that knows “Da TrOoF.” FreeDUmb!! HAHAHA I’m so glad you exist.

    2. As long as you Obliging to the solitude game means banning anyone with a local address from leaving I think the rest of Central Oregon can get on board. it is funny how it is everyone else bringing Covid to your town and yet you act like no one from Prineville ever Comes to shop For groceries in Deschutes were it is cheaper than rays and better quality. Or no one in Prineville leaves to work their job in other towns. I understand there is a lot of outside employees for Facebook but at the end of the day More people leave Crook county and Prineville to shop and go to work than come into it. so as long as your shut down works both ways lets do it and see who can survive longer. Especially since your shut down and banning anyone without a local address implies you get no more deliveries of goods unless the driver lives there.

  2. The “Central Oregon county commissioners” need to get out there, in public and lead the people in being safe. Show up in a mask.

    Be part of the solution.
    By spouting of nonsense about “private investigations ” & alternative numbers Crook County Judge Seth Crawfothis part of the problem.

    It’s long past time, to no longer give a forum to QOOKS, QRACKPOTS, AND QRAZIES.
    KTVZ should be a reliable source for community news, without perpetuating the divisiveness.

    1. You saw how they presented the news of central Oregonians being gung ho for her permanent mask mandate which we will know has to be decided in by next Tuesday. Twas sad 👀ing how slanted to the liberal side that was. To have that one woman add in we have to show humanity we love them and care. The mask is the least we can do.🤨⛩️

    1. But are they working ? Has the local population seen improvements over the past year ?? OR… do the infections continue to rise on a whim ??? Which begs the question- why continue with a failed strategy ?

      1. Masks can work and be effective. How I see us all in C.O., including myself, using masks they are worse than not working, they are a source of the infection.

        Using the same mask over and over, handling it multiple times, letting it hang around your neck, putting it in and taking it out of your pocket, all with our bare hands just means that if the virus is on the mask it’s going to be spread all over you.

        PPE is only effective if you follow proper PPE handling procedures. Just about everyone is not. When I was in the Army we had to train for handling a wounded soldier in a PPE required environment. My Sgt poured a bunch of baby powder onto the wounded soldier and told us to treat him and avoid contamination. When we were done and stripped off our PPE all of us had white powder smudges in a variety of spots.

        Try it out, put some baby powder on your mask and see if you can avoid getting it on yourself and imagine it’s captured Covid hot particles that stay viable for 6 to 12 hours. PPE only works if you follow the procedures.

  3. A little back story on my self and what I think is crazy. I am a nature born and raised local of central Oregon of 34 years. I was infected with COVID-19 back in December. I had pretty bad case of it, recovery was weeks long. I contracted COVID during the last lock down, working from home and by my best guess and the health department’s I got it from going to a local bimart. Fast forward to last weekend. I traveled to the PDX area to visit some friends and family and to do some shopping and for S&G’s went to Washington Square Mall. To my shock and surprise it was packed to capacity!!! Barely any available parking and the food court was packed to capacity! We are talking about 1000’s of people indoors! How in gods name is that ok, but local small businesses and restaurants doing indoor dining is not ok?!? Please I would like to know and would love to have someone argue why it’s ok for Washington Square Mall to be packed to capacity but it’s not ok for locals to operate our businesses????

    1. You are ‘nature born’? What does that mean – raised by a pack of wolves? Born in a barn? Conceived and birthed by hippies while on the road with the Rainbow Family or following the Grateful Dead? Just curious…

      1. “Nature born” means my predictive text typo’ed what I was writing. Funny how the only thing you pick out of my entire statement is that typo. So my question to you is…..what’s your point? There is a typo, so what…. do you have a point other than my typo? Did you have a counter argument? Or a legitimate point? Or are you just a troll trying to stir up a reaction? Just curious.

  4. What would happen if our local leaders said to Dictator kate…..Nope we’re not shutting down. Here’s why… this disease has a mortality rate of less than 2%, young kids aren’t affected, people who have co-mortalities or whom are obese are the most affected, people are loosing jobs, homes and their livelihoods are being lost because of it, tents are overwhelming cities, vaccines are available to everyone now, if you are vaccinated you are safe, large corporations are thriving while small businesses are dying, no one is talking about eating healthy, work out, take your vitamins. If masks and restrictions worked and Oregon has the most restrictions out of any states why do we have one of the highest infections lately? If you are scared of COVID than stay home. Bend and America are counting on our “leaders” to figure it out or we’re headed towards being a 3rd world country. (I realize the above has plenty of run on sentences)

  5. Just don’t do what she says. she can fine people and businesses all she wants. Don’t pay it. So far no businesses that has been fined has paid it and no court will make them.

    Listen Cali Kate, move to your cousins hometown, I hear they are will have a job opening soon

  6. Leave businesses open. If you do not feel safe, or if you are vulnerable, avoid these places. Why should people who are vaccinated be punished by closures. I believe these closures are disincentivizing inoculations.

  7. A small taste of communism, this is only the beginning! These cheating corrupt leaders that YOU voted for, bend over backward and kiss China’s a$$ to destroy our country. Are you starting to miss Trump? Remember, when he was president everyone had jobs, entrepreneurship was at its highest(no need to depend on the government), people were traveling everywhere, people were happy. Then 2020 election year happen, boom Wuhan virus was let loose, the news & Democratic leaders pushed fear, panic, hate, lockdowns, and masks. Democratic politicians encouraged riots but they keep that quiet, mail voting was pushed by the same corrupted people, it was the only way to get in these communists leaders could get in. Now they’re after your business & your kids are next! Enjoy communism!

  8. Deschutes County Commissioner Phil Cheng would not sign the letter because he did not “Feel” comfortable doing so. Phil did you base your decision merely on a feeling or did you follow the science?

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