Despite an executive order from Oregon Gov. Kate Brown that makes her two-week freeze enforceable by law, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will continue its focus on educating people about the latest rules aimed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

In the past, social gathering limits were “self-enforced.” Now, if caught violating this restriction, a person can be cited, fined or arrested.

DCSO spokesperson Brad O’Dell said Tuesday the previous policy from Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin will continue.

“Sheriff (John) Hanlin has previously announced that this office would take the stance of educating the public regarding the recommendations made by health officials and the Governor,” O’Dell said Tuesday. “That direction has not changed. Educating the public regarding the rules and mandates will continue.”

Brown’s executive order for a two-week freeze across Oregon began Wednesday and continues through at least Dec. 2 in an effort to slow down the spread of COVID-19. If the case numbers grow too quickly, they could overwhelm hospitals’ ability to treat those who are ill.

“The Oregon State Police will be working with local law enforcement to enforce the Governor’s orders, in the same way local law enforcement officers respond to noise complaints for loud parties, for example, and issue citations,” Brown spokesman Charles Boyle said Saturday.

In a conference call Monday, the Oregon State Police, Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police and Oregon State Sheriff’s Association said law enforcement agencies across Oregon will continue to educate people first and use enforcement as a last resort.

Sutherlin Police Department Cpt. Kurt Sorenson said that his department, like the other county agencies, has been serving in an educational role to this point. But if advised by state leadership, the department would enforce the rules.

“If we are going to enforce the new restrictions, then we will respond to those calls and enforce the rule,” Sorenson said. “My hopes are that people will behave like responsible citizens and we don’t have to take enforcement action.”

Until it received updated guidance from state law enforcement associations, Roseburg Police Department had no plans to change its response, said spokesperson Jeff Eichenbusch by email early Tuesday.

“We are waiting on OACP and the Sheriff’s Association for direction,” Roseburg Police Department spokesman Jeff Eichenbusch said Tuesday via email, “so there are no planned changes in our response at this time.”

Winston Police Department and Myrtle Creek Police Department did not return requests for comment.

Sorenson asked residents wishing to report a violation not to call 911, but rather their local agency’s non-emergency line or necessary state agency.

“Hopefully, responsible citizens will not be calling 911 because of extra cars in their neighbor’s driveway. 911 is for emergencies,” Sorenson said Monday via email. “The pandemic, and how we attempt to control it, are very serious, but please don’t call 911 if you suspect someone is not following the new restrictions.”

Instead, residents who wish to report business or workplace violations are encouraged to contact Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Violations at restaurants and bars should be reported to OSHA or the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

In a press conference last week, the governor said violating these rules will be a class “C” misdemeanor, which can be punishable by citations, fines or even arrest.

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Cops and Courts Reporter

Donovan Brink is the cops and courts reporter for The News-Review.

(26) comments


Mercy Medical Center’s most recent workplace outbreak added at least 9 more coronavirus cases since last week and is now up to 34 cases according to the Oregon Health Authority Weekly Report (below link). Mercy’s first workplace outbreak occurred in August and resulted in 10 cases. And Mercy owns Evergreen Family Medicine which also had its own workplace outbreak with 5 more cases in October. This means 49 cases have been reported at Mercy Medical Center and its affiliates which are by far the largest workplace outbreaks in Douglas County.

On top of that, half of Douglas County’s coronavirus deaths have occurred at Mercy Medical Center. Furthermore, Dr. John Powell, the CEO of Evergreen Family Medicine and on Mercy’s Board of Directors, has repeatedly advocated for herd immunity and against coronavirus restrictions in three different News-Review columns and two letters to the Governor.

Are you worried about safe treatment at Mercy and Evergreen?


Mike, yes, I'd be worried, too.

I worry about Sweden, as well:

I do hope that the News-Review will afford Dr. Powell an opportunity to update us on his thinking about Sweden, Great Barrington, and what science *actually* says. I'd like to know also what he thinks about the Dakotas and Iowa.

Also: great data brought to life by NYT:

"States That Imposed Few Restrictions Now Have the Worst Outbreaks

By Lauren Leatherby and Rich HarrisNov. 18, 2020

Coronavirus cases are rising in almost every U.S. state. But the surge is worst now in places where leaders neglected to keep up forceful virus containment efforts or failed to implement basic measures like mask mandates in the first place, according to a New York Times analysis of data from the University of Oxford."




Yes. It's a pesthouse.


Three more coronavirus cases died at Mercy today.


The Oregon Health Authority reported coronavirus cases for each Douglas County zip codes on November 15 (below link):

97417: 9

97435: 9

97442: 9

97443: 11

97457: 67

97462: 26

97467: 29

97469: 9

97470: 136

97471: 162

97479: 96

97495: 9

97496: 28

97499: 9


At least 12 different schools in Douglas County have reported 20 coronavirus cases according to the Oregon Health Authority Weekly Report (below link). 13 of the cases were students and 7 were among staff/volunteers.


Sutherlin’s Bi-Mart workplace outbreak expanded by 1 case since last week, bringing its total cases to 7 according to the Oregon Health Authority Weekly Report (below link).


Roseburg Veterans Affairs workplace outbreak has expanded by 4 coronavirus cases since last week, bringing its total cases to 17. This includes 2 workplace cases reported by the Oregon Health Authority Weekly Report (below link) on November 5 and 2 more employees with coronavirus just reported today by the VA’s national website (bottom link). Roseburg’s VA is now up to a total of 74 cases with zero deaths.


According to the Oregon Health Authority Weekly Report (below link), Douglas County elder care facility outbreaks continue to expand. Umpqua Valley Nursing Center in Roseburg is now up to 16 coronavirus cases, 3 more cases than last week. Curry Manor Memory Care in Roseburg is now up to 13 cases, 10 more cases than last week. However, zero new cases were reported at the Timber Town Senior Living Center in Sutherlin. Their count remains at 7 cases and 2 deaths.

What exactly are our County Commissioners doing to protest the County's most vulnerable people in these care facilities? Our Commissioners publish a daily press release touting their success as being the first county to have drive through testing, the first county to reopen, the first county to open its schools. How about our Commissioners announce in their daily press release what they are doing to protect the most vulnerable in our county rather than brag about meaningless successes. Why can't out Commissioner's press releases tell us they are testing EVERYONE at the senior care centers to identify and isolate coronavirus cases from the other most vulnerable patients? Why must cases and deaths continue to increase at these care centers and our Commissioner's daily press releases mention nothing about it?


Covid Stalks U.S. Nursing Homes Again With Virus Redoubling.


The U.S. reported 1,956 coronavirus deaths today, the most since May 17.


A record 42 states reported over 1,000 new coronavirus cases today. Only 9 states reported less than 1,000 cases. Vermont being the lowest number at 57 cases.


Lets just see what a Cambridge educated pathologist has to say about this whole covid mess.


According to today’s press release (below link) from our County Commissioners Coronavirus Response Team;

“Currently, DPHN is supporting 216 cases in isolation, as well as another 513 contacts in quarantine in Douglas County. Isolation is recommended for confirmed and presumptive cases, quarantine [not testing] is recommended for contacts of confirmed or presumptive cases. Currently, staff is supporting an astonishing 729 total contacts in isolation or quarantine.”

CONTRARY to CDC guidance, TESTING of people in contact with confirmed or presumptive cases is NOT recommended by DPHN. CDC guidance clearly recommends to BOTH test AND quarantine direct contacts. That is one of the reasons testing is so low in Douglas County. That is also an artificial way keep the number of cases down for political reasons. That also endangers everyone in Douglas County.


This is the graphic that DPHN uses to advise who should get tested and when. It took me 40 minutes to finally find it. It's a good graphic, It may have been around all this time, but somehow I missed it and I make an effort to stay informed. There are plenty of people who aren't even trying.

GhostofTom, you seem to have some inside connection at DPHN or with the commissioners. Will you please suggest to them that they put this graphic front and center and make it very easy for people to find? It would be a public service.


23 new coronavirus cases and 0 deaths were reported today by the County Commissioners Coronavirus Response Team, bringing the total to 701 cases and 12 deaths. It took Douglas County a mere 5 days for the last 101 coronavirus cases. Today is Douglas County’s first day in three days with zero deaths from the virus.

The Roseburg Veterans Affairs reported 1 more coronavirus case since yesterday, increasing their total case count to 72, of which 10 have been employees/staff.

The Commissioners Response Team reported 290 coronavirus cases and received 1,821 test results over the past two weeks in Douglas County. Dividing 290 cases by 1,821 test results gives Douglas County a RECORD 14-day positive test rate of 15.9% today. The school re-opening metric is a maximum of 5.0%. The 14-day positive test rate record has now been broken 21 straight days in a row.

The 290 coronavirus cases over the past two weeks represent a RECORD HIGH 14-day case rate of 261.3 today for Douglas County. The school re-opening metric is a maximum of 50. The 14-day case rate record has now been broken 19 straight days in a row.


Douglas County has reported 301 coronavirus cases in the last 15 days.


The six counties surrounding Douglas County reported a RECORD 279 new coronavirus cases and 2 deaths today, one in Lane County and one in Jackson County. The six counties reported a RECORD 1,373 cases and a RECORD 9 deaths over the past week.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 1,099 new coronavirus cases and 10 deaths today in Oregon. The 7-day positive test rate for Oregon is a RECORD 14.3% today.

The OHA reported 484 coronavirus cases are currently hospitalized in Oregon. Of those, 42 people are on ventilators. There currently are 127 adult ICU beds available throughout Oregon.

The Oregon Health Authority also tracks hospital statistics for 7 different regions in Oregon. Region 3 consists of Douglas, Coos, Curry and Lane Counties. The OHA reported only 16 ICU beds and 99 non-ICU beds were available in the four county Region 3 today. There are currently a RECORD 42 coronavirus cases hospitalized in Region 3 today. A record 151 new coronavirus cases were reported in Region 3 today.


Is there a public education focus regarding bank robbery? No? Must be because only about two dozen Americans die from it per year.


I did a curbside pickup of groceries at Fred Meyer last night. The girl who loaded my car said the curbside service was steady but hadn’t picked up yet when I asked her how business was going. She laughed when I asked her if customers in the store were wearing masks and said many weren’t wearing them correctly or took them off as soon as they entered the store. I then went for a short drive around town and this is what I observed.

Planet Fitness was the fullest I’ve ever seen, and I’m a member, though I haven’t worked out there for a while. All patrons I could see were wearing masks, though some who were talking to each other had their masks around their chin. Social distancing was definitely not occurring.

Red Robin was packed and had an entirely maskless line of eleven people outside the door waiting to get in. Social distancing was not occurring.

Walmart’s parking lot was pretty full for that time of night. Most people put masks on as they were walking to enter the store. Approximately half of the people leaving the store had no masks on or immediately removed their mask after exiting the store. The same can be said about Fred Meyer.

Indoor dining at old town restaurants like True and Old Soul Pizza were busy. Old Soul’s outside dining was also busy. The North Forty was packed with mostly maskless patrons.

In general, businesses were busier than I expected for a Tuesday night. I suspect people were taking their last opportunity to socialize and shop before being forced to hunker down. In general, a significant portion of the people I witnessed were NOT doing so safely or responsibly.

NOWHERE did I witness anyone from law enforcement educating people about the facemask or social distancing mandate despite obvious non-compliance.


I drove around town as well. NOWHERE did I witness anyone pulled over for speeding, being cited for a domestic disturbance, parole violations or arrested for drug possession.


It must have been a lawless night indeed if you personally witnessed speeding, domestic disturbances, parole violations and drug possession. It makes one wonder what law enforcement was doing with rampant crime going on in the city.


Shift change is at 4PM. Drive around the police station and you'll see people pulled over as RPD officers attempt to get their ten "contacts" done within the first hour of the shift.


I have yet to see any officers educate people in stores regarding covid. Last night, I did see an off-duty deputy at Fred Meyer sans mask. I saw him three weeks ago at Home Depot and he was without a mask there, too. Obviously the "education" the sheriff speaks of needs to start within the walls of the SO.

I was at Home Depot last night and a maskless couple was well within six feet of me and I looked at glue. I let off a big sigh and they got the hint. I shop a lot at Fred Meyer as well and you are correct, Mike. Many folks take their masks off while inside the store. Sherm's is actually worse as they have a new "no mask, no service" sign, but I counted six customers without masks on Monday. Obviously the education law enforcement is providing is doing a bang-up job.


Laws were created not too terribly long ago requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets, drivers to wear seat belts, no talking or text while driving, and no smoking in public places. All of those were public safety laws with support from law enforcement. It may have happened, but I don’t remember reading about certain portions of law enforcement refusing to enforce those laws.

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