Monday, March 16, 2020

New Social Distancing Order; St. Charles Updates; More


News Release from Central Oregon Emergency Information Network
Posted on FlashAlert: March 16th, 2020 4:51 PM
Downloadable file: COEIN_H.jpg
Daily COVID-19 Update, March 16, 2020

Today, March 16, Gov. Kate Brown released an executive order with new guidelines for social distancing that prohibits all gatherings of more than 25 people and will restrict restaurants and bars to offering only take out and delivery service for at least the next four weeks. The restriction is set to begin Tuesday, March 17 in Oregon. The Governor further suggested that individuals avoid any gathering with 10 or more individuals and urged all businesses to accommodate social distancing or consider closing.
Dr. Wil Berry, a psychiatrist with Deschutes County Health Services offered this advice, “If we wait to change daily habits until it feels like the problem is severe, it will be too late to have the biggest impact. As humans, we are used to worrying about all kinds of possible problems, and it is normal to delay getting stressed until the problems become real in our lives. We can protect each other, and save lives in this community, by working together to follow all of these recommendations right now.”
Deschutes County 9-1-1 asks that those dialing 9-1-1 be sure to let dispatchers know if anyone at the location has flu-like symptoms. This information helps dispatchers ensure that first responders have all the information they need to bring appropriate equipment.
St. Charles Health System is taking a number of steps this week to increase safety for caregivers and patients, to preserve medical supplies and to prepare for a surge of patients.
Testing Protocols:
In response to a growing nationwide shortage of medical supplies, including personal protective gear like masks, as well as nasopharyngeal swabs, which are used to collect samples to test for COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses, St. Charles Health System has changed its criteria for testing. In order to be tested at a St. Charles outpatient facility, a patient must have a fever above 100.4 within the past 24 hours, a cough, shortness of breath AND one of the following: Age greater than 60 years, or, immunosuppressed or a chronic disease of one of the following: cardiovascular system, pulmonary system, or diabetes mellitus.
Caregiver and patients:
The Community Pharmacy at St. Charles Bend is now offering drive-up service. St. Charles Outpatient Rehabilitation has closed its services and canceled appointments for two weeks. Visitor restrictions are in effect. Caregivers are entering St. Charles Bend through access control points. All four hospital locations, Bend, Madras, Prineville and Redmond, are starting to use external triage tents.
Preparing for patients:
In anticipation of an influx of patients, St. Charles Health System is making some significant changes to how and where patients are cared for in our communities. The following will occur starting this week: High-acuity patients, as well as all pediatric patients, will be cared for at the Bend hospital. Lower-acuity patients will be cared for at the Madras, Prineville and Redmond hospitals.  Learn more about these changes on the St. Charles website.
Due to issues with the national supply, availability for testing for COVID-19 in Oregon is not yet meeting demand.
The Oregon State Public Health Lab (OSPHL) is conducting laboratory testing of prioritized samples sent, using guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Oregon Health Authority to protect inventory for higher risk cases, public health investigations and safety net. The state lab can process up to 80 tests a day and is building surge capacity if needed.
Commercial labs can receive samples that may not meet the strict guidelines required by the OSPHL. There is currently a backlog at private labs throughout the state causing delays in test results.
Moving forward, COVID-19 case count updates will be provided by daily Oregon Health Authority news releases. Local public health departments will continue to update their websites, but will not issue news releases for new cases.
Residents can find current numbers on cases of COVID-19 in Oregon at or by dialing 2-1-1. Oregon and Deschutes County have cases that have no known link to someone who has COVID-19 or travel to an affected region. This is often referred to as community spread. State health officials expect to find more cases in the community. OHA and local public health authorities are working with people who had direct close contact with known cases, and travelers returning home to Oregon. Public health lets these contacts know what symptoms they need to watch for and how to seek medical care, should they need it, in a way that avoids exposing others.
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
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

Contact Info:
Contact: 541-316-0087, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. JIC hours