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Eligibility for now is limited to city residents who are over 65 and have a serious underlying health condition.

Oregonians are under an emergency order to stay at home whenever possible, because a new virus is circulating in our community, across the state, throughout the country and around the world.

As people grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, the Forest Grove Police Department is piloting a new program to help the most vulnerable get the medication they need — without having to leave their homes.

Starting Wednesday, March 25, and continuing until at least April 28 or whenever Gov. Kate Brown's emergency order expires, Forest Grove police will be providing a free prescription medication delivery service for city residents on weekdays.

From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, anyone over 65 who lives in Forest Grove and has a serious medical condition can call the Forest Grove Police Department at 503-992-3260 to arrange for a police officer to go to a local pharmacy, pick up their prescription and deliver it to their home.

Residents will need to contact the pharmacy themselves to order and pay for the prescription and let them know a police officer will be picking it up. Police will also ask them to present a valid ID when the officer arrives.

The idea, explained Forest Grove Police Capt. Mike Hall, is to give Forest Grove residents who are at the highest risk of complications from the novel coronavirus some convenience and peace of mind when it comes to getting their prescription medication.

"It'll be a good service for people," Hall said. "We need to make sure that they stay socially distant."

Brown has ordered Oregonians to observe social distancing guidelines to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which can cause a viral illness called COVID-19.

While most people will recover on their own if they become sick with COVID-19, sufferers of any age can become seriously ill. Most of the deaths worldwide that have been associated with COVID-19 involve people in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, with older people appearing to have the highest risk.

Hall said as police roll out this all-new service, they want to focus on particularly vulnerable residents. Eligibility for the delivery service could expand or contract over time, depending on how much people use it.

"This is obviously going to be a work in progress, and so we'll see where it goes, and we'll monitor that daily," Hall said.

During deliveries, police officers will wear personal protective equipment and follow social distancing guidelines to avoid spreading the virus. Officers will always be in official attire and carry identification.

Eligible pharmacies are Bi-Mart and Safeway in Forest Grove and Walgreens in Cornelius.

By Mark Miller
Washington County Editor
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