Gov. Kate Brown and the state of Oregon must take additional immediate steps to institute a strict stay at home order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus to communities on the Oregon coast. The plea to Brown was prompted by a significant influx of out of area and out of state visitors to beach communities this weekend, many who packed parking lots and ignored the governor’s call for residents to practice social distancing and avoid large gatherings.

“The governor’s voluntary efforts have clearly not been effective,” the board said in an emergency statement on Sunday, March 22. “More and immediate action is required, including a mandatory order for Oregonians to shelter in place at this absolutely critical moment. An outbreak of the virus in a rural, coastal community could have devastating consequences to residents who already have limited health care options.”

The Nehalem Bay Health District joins the Oregon Nurses Association, the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians, numerous officials in coastal communities and Portland area mayors in urging the governor and state officials to take additional steps to deal with the national health care crisis.

Willamette Week reported that “Images on coastal webcams and on social media show big crowds at Cannon Beach, Pacific City and other coastal destinations” and mayors and county commissioners have expressed great concern about the large number of visitors to areas that have not reported confirmed cases of the virus.

The city of Warrenton approved an emergency ordinance Saturday, March 21, effectively shutting down the community to outside visitors until such time as the health crisis is under control.

Tillamook County has not reported a confirmed coronavirus case.

The health district serves the northern portion of Tillamook County and operates a skilled nursing facility in Wheeler and provides clinic facilities for the Rinehart Clinic, a not for profit federally qualified health center.

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