I kept hearing, it’s just a matter of time. We’ll eventually see positive tests. And, so we did. Are we in very begging of our curve? In the middle? At the end? Nothing is certain. Perhaps, I am more a skeptic than I thought myself. I’ll quote my wise friend. “Assume it’s everywhere and that YOU could be carrying the virus already.” Sounds like a good play. There’s a lot of hard right now. Things seem blurry. I am trying to stay focused, positive and grateful. Deep inhale. Long exhale.
Lincoln County Public Health interviews the patient who tested positive. This helps determine who they had contact with that might be at risk of getting COVID-19.
When we identify someone who might be at risk, Public Health will call them and explain the circumstances. This happens within a few hours.
We ask the person at risk to self-quarantine for 14 days after their last contact with the person that tested positive. During this time they monitor themselves for any potential symptoms while staying at home and avoiding contact with others.
If they develop symptoms, they will work with providers to determine if they should be tested.
Oregon Financial Aid and Assistance Programs Find financial help, government assistance programs, and grants in all cities and counties in Oregon. Resources include help with rent, utilities, child care, and prescription drugs.
Lincoln County’s information web page and document archive for COVID-19 lives here. Please review this information for best practices and knowledge regarding Coronavirus in Lincoln County. Note, ” The virus is not able to discriminate. Individuals of particular racial or ethnic groups are no more likely to get COVID-19 or spread it to others.” The best way to protect yourself is to avoid exposure to the virus. Read more… https://www.co.lincoln.or.us/hhs/page/2019-novel-coronavirus
When our team began tackling local Coronavirus response… I was kind of laying low. I wear a lot of hats as do many of my cohorts. I was absent from the first multidisciplinary discussions within our organization (last week). I began to observe from the periphery – that in a matter of days – my usual routine was going to be sidelined for the priority focus of the “Emergency Management PIO” aspect of my job description which when necessary is complete immersion in emergency communications. Most of my other duties get put on hold – the focus – ensuring the safety of our community.
Did you know…? Lincoln Alerts emergency notification system enables the agencies within Lincoln County to provide you with critical information quickly in a variety of situations, including severe weather, distant tsunamis, unexpected road closures, missing persons and evacuations of buildings or neighborhoods due to a hazardous material event or possible wildfire situations.
There were no cases and continue to be no cases of
COVID-19 in Lincoln County. However, my knowledge is not necessarily public
knowledge. Sometimes, is too easily forgotten that internal institutional
insight is not public information – until we communicate – outward to the
What’s developed within the emergency communications
discipline is a deeper recognition of the need to moderate and monitor
communication. This is partially due to
proliferation of social media. It’s a double-edged sword of sorts. On one hand
we all have this amazing communications tool at our disposal: each of us has
our own personal news amplification platform. On the other, as you may have
experienced, it can be difficult to verify credible information on the internet.
Relying on the 24-hour national news cycles, does not necessarily mean local accuracy.
The cable news media are occasionally prone to lavish claims and sensationalism
to keep eyeballs on their mediums.
Locally, the players who began to assimilate our situation were Emergency Management, Public Health and our Legal team. I’ll also note that Commissioner Jacobson is the new liaison with Emergency Management – she was also present in the initial conversations that emerged to build situational awareness and strategies for planning both internally for our employees, the safety of our citizens and the support role we provide to those we call “Cooperators”: they include – but are not limited to – first responders, local health care facilities, public safety AND regional organizations such as Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Office of Emergency Management, CDC and others.
When concern arises Team Lincoln County kicks into gear and we begin to have LOTS of conversations, conference calls, and preparations. I can tell you that COVID has not been taken lightly. I’m reminded of the skill and compassion of our local team to address both the need to communicate reliable and credible information to keep our community safe. We’ve evaluated and planned for practical actionable measures to prepare for the worst and best-case scenarios in Lincoln County.