County officials submitted a letter to Gov. Kate Brown on Friday requesting Douglas County be allowed to begin a Phase 2 reopening.

The news came shortly after the Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team announced Friday afternoon that there is one new case in the county.

It’s the second new case in the past two days and brings the total number of positives since March 8 to 27. Of those, 23 have recovered and one is still hospitalized.

The county has been in Phase 1 for two weeks, which means it could become eligible for Phase 2 as early as June 5 if it can win approval from the governor.

Douglas County Commissioner Chris Boice said in a press release county leaders are confident that their efforts to combat COVID-19 will pay off with the governor approving its Phase 2 request.

“Our Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team, under the direction of Commissioner Tim Freeman, along with the incredible work accomplished by our Public Health Official, Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer and Douglas Public Health Network, have paved the way for Douglas County to be in the right position to advance to Phase Two in a safe and structured manner,” Boice said.

Details on what the state will allow under Phase 2 are still being worked out, but it may include an increase in gatherings to 100 people outdoors and 50 indoors, reopening of churches and theaters with occupancy limitations, increased office work and limited visits to nursing homes.

The governor sent a letter Thursday to counties across the state detailing the information they must provide in order to be allowed to move to Phase 2.

She said counties must attest they have enough personal protective equipment for first responders, give the number of trained contact tracers available to the county and tell the state if there have been any changes since the responses they gave in their Phase 1 applications.

Counties must not have a 5% or greater increase in new cases over the past week, and must be able to trace the contacts of 95% of new cases within 24 hours.

The percentage of emergency room visits for COVID-19 symptoms over the past two weeks must be lower than the historical average for the flu at the same time of year.

And if the county has had more than five hospitalized cases in the past four weeks, then COVID-19 hospital admissions must have declined over the past two weeks.

The county must also maintain adequate quarantine facilities, meet minimum testing requirements, and show they could accommodate a 20% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, the letter said.

Almost all of the state’s counties are currently in Phase 1.

Washington County was approved Thursday to begin Phase 1 next week. That will leave Multnomah as the only Oregon county not yet in a Phase 1 reopening.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

(8) comments

Mike

Another new case today for a total of 28. Three new cases in the last week. I wonder if that will impact Phase 2 reopening.

Mike

It appears Douglas County Commissioner Boice intentionally misled Governor Brown in his request letter (below link) for Phase 2 reopening of Douglas County. In his very first sentence, commissioner Boice states,

“Since the opening of Phase 1 and as of 6 am this morning, we have only had 2 cases reported, one as part of asymptomatic screening and the other in a mildly symptomatic person who was not part of a larger outbreak.”

Douglas County has had 3 new coronavirus cases since Phase 1 started, not 2 cases as claimed by commissioner Boice. One new case occurred on May 16, May 28 and May 29. The flash alert announcing Commissioner Boice’s letter request to begin Phase 2 reopening was sent at 3:06 pm on May 29, and avoided mentioning the May 29 case that was announced three hours earlier on DPHN’s website.

The integrity of public officials is measured by their ability to earn the public’s trust, by using their powers responsibly, acting honestly and transparently, and by making reasoned decisions without bias. I argue commissioner Boice meets none of this criteria.

https://www.oregon.gov/gov/coronavirus/SubmissionstoReopen/Douglas-County-Phase-2-Submission.pdf

Melly

The 2 new cases, I believe, represents a greater than 5% increase within the 7 day period in question.

Mike

Which is why Commissioner Boice is attempting to mislead the Governor. Hence my comment about integrity or more accurately, commissioner Boice's lack of it.

Mike

Knowing commissioner Boice withheld information and attempted to mislead the Governor in order to gain approval for Phase 2 reopening of Douglas County, how confident are you commissioner Boice is being truthful about the rest of the case and test numbers being reported by DPHN?

Mike

Democratic State legislators are upset they weren’t notified for six day after one of their Republican counterparts tested positive for coronavirus, arguing the lack of transparency may have increased their risk of contracting the potentially deadly infection.

This begs the question why do these politicians deserve to know when one of their co-workers tests positive for coronavirus. After all, Douglas County Public Health Network refuses to notify coworkers when someone tests positive for coronavirus in Douglas County. Why do politicians deserve any better?

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/callous-liars-pennsylvania-democrats-say-gop-put-them-at-risk-by-hiding-members-positive-covid-19-test/ar-BB14HMaA?li=BBnb7Kz

Mike

There have now been 19 new coronavirus cases reported in the six counties surrounding Douglas County over the past 8 days.

Mike

There have now been 23 new coronavirus cases and one new death reported in the six counties surrounding Douglas County over the past 9 days.

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