COVID-19: Local governments closing facilities, altering meeting schedules

Central Oregon municipalities are making sweeping changes to facility accessibility, meeting schedules and utility payment requirements as communities work to stop to spread of COVID-19. Below is the information we’ve received so far.

Bend

The City of Bend, Oregon Government is strongly encouraging people to livestream a very brief Council meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18, (www.bendoregon.gov/councilagenda), instead of attending in person. Public comments will only be accepted in writing.

The Council will ratify an emergency declaration. The City has canceled all public meetings except the March 18 Council meeting, for about a month.

Beginning on Thursday, March 19, all City facilities, excluding the main Police Department lobby, will be closed to the public.

For information on COVID-19:

Deschutes County Health Services for countywide updates: www.deschutes.org/covid19

Oregon Health Authority for statewide updates: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus

Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office will begin limiting access into most Sheriff’s Office buildings, substations, and the adult jail administration lobby during business hours starting tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m.

We are taking this additional step to protect our staff and the community we serve.  All external doors to our Main Office, Adult Jail and outlying substations will be locked to prevent unnecessary access into the buildings.  Notices will posted on the outside doors notifying community members that they must call into the building by telephone and their need to access the building will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

If there is a need for in-person contact but the situation does not necessitate entering the building, office staff will get a vehicle description and then to provide for “social distancing”, ask the caller to wait inside their vehicle or outside of the building for a deputy to contact them.  There are still certain circumstances where a citizen may need to enter one of our buildings to retrieve property, register as a sex offender, bail out an inmate, etc..  In those situations, office staff will then grant access into the building to accommodate and assist the citizen.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Work Center lobby will remain open to alow for inmate video visiting and access to the second floor where Deschutes County Parole and Probation is located.

Anyone with questions or needing more information can call the DCSO main line at 541-388-6655 for assistance.

Redmond

City of Redmond will be closing all City-owned buildings to public access beginning Tuesday, March 17 thru March 31.  All essential City services will continue with limited staffing levels, customers may experience periodic delays.

City services, particularly the delivery of public safety, public services (water, wastewater, etc.) will continue.  This closure does not apply to the Redmond Municipal Airport.  The Federal Aviation Administration has primary jurisdiction over airports and we will follow their lead as directed.

“The City is paying close attention to actions taken at the federal, state and local levels to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” said Redmond Mayor George Endicott. “All of us need to contribute to the safety, security, health and well-being of everyone in our community.”

“The decision to enact these closures was made after thoughtful deliberation and in response to the need to slow the spread of the virus,” said Redmond City Manager Keith Witcosky.

The following actions take effective March 17:

Public Safety

  • The Redmond Police Department encourages residents to use their online reporting tool for non-emergency reports: www.ci.redmond.or.us/reportacrime, or call the non-emergency line at (5410 693-6911. All emergencies should call 911
  • The department’s lobby will be closed to the public, a Call Box is located by the front doors to contact staff.
  • Public fingerprinting service and ride-a-longs have been suspended until further notice.

City Facilities 

  • Redmond City Hall 411 SW 9th St., the Public Works complex at 243 E. Antler Ave., and the Police Department Lobby at 777 SW Deschutes will be closed to the public through March 31; however, City operations will continue to operate.  For questions please call (541) 923-7710 during regular business hours.

City Meetings 

  • All City committee and commission meetings and other public meetings are canceled until April 13. City Council will meet on March 17 and postpone future meetings until April 14, 2020.  This timeframe is subject to change as the situation evolves.

As changes to City operations occur, officials will post them on the City website at www.ci.redmond.or.us.

Sisters

The City of Sisters is taking steps to limit exposure to and spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). In line with state restrictions and federal guidelines, the City of Sisters will be closing City Hall to the public during normal business hours until April 1. Regular services and day to day operations will continue. All board and committee meetings will be canceled effective today through April 15.

• All standing advisory board and committee meetings and activities are canceled.

• At this time, scheduled City Council meetings will continue to occur, but with social distancing modifications including reducing meeting length and increased space between chairs. The City is working on establishing a system for citizens to call in and listen to City Council meetings.

• We will not be enforcing water shut-offs for the next 45-days to ensure people have critical access to water.

• Garbage collection provided by Republic Services will continue as scheduled. If a commercial business would like to suspend garbage collection, they should contact Republic Services directly

• The City will work with local partners to coordinate resources for the business community. Look for updates on our website as they become available.

• This is the link the City has established for coronavirus information and resources: www.ci.sisters.or.us/administration/page/coronavirus-information-and-resources

Prineville

City Hall and the Prineville Police Department lobby will be closed to the public effective March 17. The city will continue to provide essential city services to the community, including public safety, water utilities, and emergency response services. The operational changes are in place for 30 days. City officials are continually monitoring the situation to make well-informed decisions intended to ensure the continued health and safety of the community.

Residents and businesses are strongly encouraged to use online services, pay by phone, or utilize the drop box when possible.

Further information regarding city facilities and services are as follows:

  • The city will not send shut-off notices or shut-off water for non-payment of unpaid water bills during the emergency. Any late fees caused as a result of the emergency shall be eligible for future credit. Residents and businesses may pay utility bills by phone at 541-447-5627, by mail, utilizing the drop box located behind City Hall, or through the city’s website at www.cityofprineville.com.
  • Prineville Police Department lobby will be closed to the general public. Citizens may call the Prineville Police Department at 541-447-4168.
  • All non-emergency service calls to Prineville Police will be handled by phone.
  • Visit www.cityofprineville.com for City Council meeting updates.
  • City advisory and committee meetings are canceled.
  • City project-based meetings will be conducted by phone and/or live feed.
  • All permitted special events of more than 25 people are canceled.

The city, in partnership with health officials, will continue to follow the guidelines and measures as issued by the Oregon Health Authority and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as it pertains to the COVID-19 Virus.

Visit https://www.cityofprineville.com/covid19 for the latest city information. For general information on COVID-19, please visit www.cdc.gov/COVID19. For updates from the Oregon Health Authority, visit https://www.oregon.gov/oha.

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