Douglas County urging Brown to reopen economy

Here's what to know.

Posted: Apr 22, 2020 2:12 PM
Updated: Apr 22, 2020 6:59 PM

ROSEBURG, Ore. – County commissioners in Douglas County are urging Gov. Kate Brown to start reopening their economies in just days.

The letter has been sent to Coos, Curry, Jackson, and Josephine Counties for their approval and once received back, it will be submitted to the governor.

County officials in the letter cited Brown’s intention to reopen the economy on a regional basis.

“We understand the concern of an increase in COVID-19 cases once restrictions are eased and agree that a strategic approach in getting things reopened is necessary,” the letter says.

They said Brown outlined steps that would need to take place, including a declining number of people with symptoms, declining number of cases and an adequate capacity at hospitals. In Southwestern Oregon, they said, there have been few cases and has been a decline since the peak.

“We’ve got to a place where we’re starting to see a ground swell of concern from people who’ve just been impacted by the economic side of this," said Douglas County Commissioner Chris Boice. "We gotta think about them too.”

Douglas County’s drive-through testing and work to trace contact is highlighted in the letter as proof of preparedness, testing and tracing, other contingencies in Brown’s plan.

The letter also expresses concerns that if non-emergency medical procedures are not allowed soon, hospitals in their regions will not be able to withstand the financial burden.

County officials are proposing that Brown allow them to carry out phase one of the plan outlined by the federal government starting Saturday, April 25.

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