State Representative David Gomberg held a conference call to provide updates on what is happening locally and across the state with the Corvid 19. He was joined on the call by Dr. Leslie Ogden CEO Samaritan Pacific Communities and Samaritan North Lincoln Hospitals in Lincoln County and Dave Price with Oregon Coast Community College Small Business Development Center. Each gave an update on the virus and how it is affecting the community.
Dr. Ogden reported that those age 60 and up are most vulnerable along with those who are immune compromised, have diabetes or who already have breathing issues. However she was quick to point out that anyone can get it and that you may have the virus for up to two weeks and not show symptoms. Dr. Ogden emphasized that "people need to take this seriously, keep distance from others to avoid getting the virus."
Dr. Ogden said with the new hospitals, they have identified areas of the hospitals that can be used in the event of a surge in Covid 19 patients. They have also cancelled all non-emergency procedures and appointments. She added that there are tests available in Lincoln County.
The scenarios for you to be tested include having a fever, and severe respiratory issues.
Right now only those who have a referral from their primary care doctor are getting tested. Tests turn around in about 24-48 hours. Dr. Ogden added "the hospital sees that this is a very serious situation and encourages people to shelter in place if they can, keep the social distance and keep up on cleaning, hand washing and taking care of themselves."
Dave Price said in the past month many workers have applied for unemployment benefits. More than 30-businesses this week have had to lay off employees putting the county unemployment at close to 22 percent. The number of initial Unemployment Insurance claims filed in Oregon rose from approximately 800 on Sunday, March 15 to a total of 18,500 on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
Price said the important thing to do now is to support the local restaurants and small businesses. Gomberg stated "The challenging situation is that during spring break we want to support the economy, but don't want people coming over to the coast who may be sick."
Price suggested that small businesses should see if they can interact with customers through technology and make sure that you maintain the 6-feet distance.
Price said "it is our job right now to manage the people who are here and take care of our local businesses and keep them from harms way." He encouraged people to get gift cards to use for later, and support the local restaurants that are offering take out or delivery. He said you can find more information for businesses by going to www.oregoncoastbusiness.com
In wrapping up the conversation Dr. Ogden suggested being very careful, wash your hands and keep your distance from others. Health updates and information about the coronavirus can be found through the Oregon Health Authority at https://govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19.