It is up to us all to reverse the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Deschutes County. St. Charles Hospital is filling up, case numbers are drastically increasing, and getting our children back to school is on the line. This is a serious community health threat, and I implore you to please take it seriously.
Thank you to the Bend-LaPine School Board for joining the Bend City Council and St. Charles Health in partnership to develop and execute a campaign focused on the 20-29 age demographic, which has been linked to a large number of recent cases. This campaign is being produced this week.
There’s been a good deal of back and forth discussion recently about what Bend and Central Oregon could do next to curb the COVID-19 cases.
I also understand that there is a cross agency group already at work developing a strategic plan for communicating around reducing COVID in Deschutes County for the next three months. I look forward to hearing more about this plan.
We all recognize the pressing need to get our schools re-opened in Deschutes County. The huge surge in COVID-19 cases these days is especially worrisome, and reducing cases and staying off of the State of Oregon watch list must be a huge priority for us.
On behalf of the Bend community, Council is committed to reducing Deschutes County COVID cases as much as possible. We know how important it is to make sure that the decisions Council does make are based on solid data from Deschutes County Health Department.
Therefore, I have called an Emergency Bend City Council meeting this Thursday, November 9th at 12 noon. Dr. George Conway and Nihad Sadr-Azod, Director and Deputy Director of Deschutes County Health, will join the meeting to present the most current information they have for Deschutes County at this moment. I invite you all to watch the Bend City Council meeting. Link is here.
Certainly, whatever decisions we make individually or collectively, we want to be sure they are accurately informed, and accurately focused to be effective and the least damaging to the more fragile elements of our local economy.
Meanwhile, the City is continuing to advocate to allow the State of Oregon to allocate CARES funding for ventilation projects, which I understand is a key component to complete in order for local schools to re-open.
Please continue to be diligent about social distancing and mask wearing!
Take care and stay safe,