Wednesday, April 15, 2020

One-Way Route on Popular Deschutes River Trail; Takeout Food Safety; Filing for Unemployment; Daily Digest April 15, 2020

One-Way Route on Popular Deschutes River Trail; Takeout Food Safety; Filing for Unemployment; Daily Digest April 15, 2020

To support the public with opportunities to get outside and recreate on trails while maintaining appropriate distancing, the Bend Park and Recreation District is implementing a temporary rule change to the popular South Canyon section of the Deschutes River Trail.
The change designates one of the most heavily used stretches of the river trail as a one-way route and prohibits the use of bikes on that section. The change for the section of the Deschutes River Trail is from Farewell Bend Park and Riverbend Park to the South Canyon Bridge.

The temporary rules changes are also being considered for other high use trail sections. Up-to-date information for any additional changes at specific park and trail locations will be provided on the district’s website and signs in parks.
For more information, visit

Oregon Health Authority recently released the following Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 and Food Safety, including questions about takeout and delivery.

Is COVID-19 a concern with takeout food?
The following agencies are not aware of any reports that suggest COVID-19 transmission by food or food packaging: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) or U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Current evidence shows the largest risk of COVID-19 transmission is being around people who have symptoms. To a lesser extent, there is a risk of transmission from being around people who are infected but are not showing symptoms. Food businesses should follow employee health policies and health department recommendations to keep these people at home.    
What are the risks from takeout or drive-through food?
There is no current suggestion that takeout or drive-through meals will increase illness.
This food option is a good risk management choice, especially for high-risk and elderly groups. This option helps keep social distancing and reduces the number of touch points.
Can I get COVID-19 from touching food or packaging exposed to COVID-19?
The risk of transfer of viruses is very low, based on current research. To further minimize risk, wash hands or use hand sanitizer after handling food packaging.
What are the risks of food delivered to home?
Similar to takeout, food delivery: Helps keep social distancing and reduces touch points between preparation and serving food. Many delivery programs have set up no touch or no interaction options. This further reduces risk.                      
What happens in your body if you do ingest the novel COVID-19 through food?
If you eat food contaminated with the novel coronavirus, your stomach acid should inactivate the virus. Even if your stomach acid did not, there is no evidence that this virus can cause an infection through the gastrointestinal tract. Wash hands with soap and water before meals to minimize the risk of getting foodborne illnesses, in general.  
The State of Oregon Employment Department (OED) has received a record number of initial claims for unemployment benefits. It is a time of great uncertainty and anxiety for OED customers who have suddenly become laid off and need unemployment benefits. When so many people call simultaneously and repeatedly, it jams the phone system and fewer people can get through to someone for help.
For those having trouble getting through OED’s phone system, they will take care of a past week’s claim with the initial filing. OED recommends filing initial claims online, if possible.
Those who have filed can check the status of their claim online once a day. Those who have completed a claim, should keep their confirmation number and continue to claim each week.
For those denied a claim because they are self-employed, OED is working to incorporate newly received guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor into its claims system to bring self-employed and 1099 contract workers into the benefits system. Visit the OED COVID-19 page for updates.
OED has implemented the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation portion of the CARES Act. This includes the $600 in additional benefits for those already eligible for regular unemployment benefits. The CARES Act benefits are available for those eligible from March 29, 2020, through the week ending July 25, 2020. Those filing for benefits through OED do not need to do anything to get the additional CARES Act benefits. They will be sent each week as a separate payment from regular benefits, so long as weekly claims filings are submitted for the weeks someone is out of work and eligible for benefits.

Central Oregon Public Health Departments investigate every case of COVID-19 in Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties. The case investigation process includes interviewing cases to determine how they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and to learn who they had close contact with. To determine close contacts, a public health nurse works with the patient to look back on their interactions back to 48 hours before symptoms began. Individuals are considered close contacts if they spent 1 or more hours within 6 ft of a case during that period. This is defined by CDC and OHA.
The public health nurse then notifies the close contacts that they were exposed to COVID-19 and provides education about staying home for 14 days, signs and symptoms to watch for and what to do if they become symptomatic.
By investigating every case, public health departments are helping ensure that:
  • Those that are ill are at home isolating, which helps prevent disease spread in our community. 
  • Close contacts know the signs and symptoms to watch for and what to do if they become symptomatic.
  • People are staying home as much as possible (quarantine).
  • Disease transmission is prevented, which helps flatten the curve and save lives.
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 

COVID-19 phone line: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 541-699-5109

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