St. Alphonsus Medical Center and Baker County Emergency Management are enacting local preparedness plans to be ready to respond to COVID-19. While Baker County continues to report no positive cases of coronavirus, it is important to have our local resources in place in the event that they are needed.
At the request of St. Alphonsus Medical Center, the Baker County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team has agreed to transport and set up a support tent at the medical facility as a precautionary measure. In the event of multiple COVID-19 cases, this tent can provide necessary additional space to evaluate patients. The tent is a military surplus tent that includes lighting as well as a generator to allow for heat.
We are grateful for the Search and Rescue volunteers and Baker County Sheriff’s Office personnel who are willing to dedicate their time to assist with this.
As part of the Baker County Commissioners’ continuing efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 and protect the community and employees, all county office locations have been temporarily closed to the public. Many departments will continue to provide services by phone and email, and essential services will continue as needed by appointment. A complete list is provided below.
Baker County Sheriff Travis Ash stated, “If anyone has a non-emergent immediate need, we will work with them, please just call us at 541-523-6415 or email email@example.com. For emergencies, dial 911.” All jail visitation has been cancelled.
Earlier this week, the Baker County Circuit Court Judge Matt Shirtcliff moved the court to limited operations in accordance with Oregon Chief Justice Walters’ emergency order. Judge Shirtcliff stated, “Baker County Circuit Court will continue with court operations consistent with my previous Circuit Court order and the Chief Justice’s emergency order. The court has limited some hearings and trials but will continue to be open for business for many matters and all essential hearings and trials. Due to limited courthouse access, the public will need to call for assistance prior to coming to the Circuit Court. Staff will provide phone assistance with the electronic filing of documents and scheduling hearings. Attorneys and court participants will be able to access the courtroom for essential hearings and trials by appointment with the court staff. Please call 541-523-6303 to schedule. I will continue to ensure that the community has access to their court while maintaining safe court operations. I want to thank the local bar association and the community for their continued cooperation through these changes.”
The Board of Commissioners thanks everyone for their efforts to keep our families, friends and neighbors as safe as possible, and for being understanding during this trying time. Commissioner Mark Bennett says, “We understand this temporary office closure can create additional challenges for our community, and the Baker County staff is committed to providing the best information and services we can in these changing conditions. Please don’t hesitate to contact any of the open departments or the Commissioners if you have an urgent need we can help meet. We are so fortunate to serve a community that comes together to take care of one another.”
County office availability by department
The Baker County Board of Commissioners issued an emergency declaration today as another step to prepare for the potential of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Baker County, and to respond to the effects of school and restaurant closures in the community. The declaration allows Baker County to seek additional resources from the State of Oregon to deal with the effects of the coronavirus spread, including personnel and supplies, and may also help the County to eventually be reimbursed for costs related to emergency response. The County opened an Emergency Operations Center on Monday to respond to the developing situation.
To date, no cases of coronavirus have been reported in Baker County.
Commissioner Mark Bennett said, “Simultaneously with being prepared to address the illness and its effects, the County is prioritizing planning for economic recovery and human service needs. We will partner with local service organizations and other partners to support meeting needs that may arise, such as food or medicine for those who are staying in their homes. The Commissioners are committed to providing the community accurate and timely information as the situation continues to change.”
Baker County will provide additional information as more becomes known about this virus. Updates will also be provided on the Baker County Emergency Management and Baker County Oregon Health Department Facebook page.