City takes steps to deal with virus outbreak
For the past two weeks the city of Newberg has been responding to the Coronavirus outbreak with a two-part plan: Continue to provide services while stopping the disease from spreading.
While the city has managed to keep services afloat while putting preventative measures in place, the disease continues to spread, according to a press release. As of Sunday, one case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been confirmed in Yamhill County. No details had been provided on who was stricken or his or her town of residence by press time Tuesday morning.
The city reports it is following preventative measures and orders put in place under the direction of Gov. Kate Brown last week. The city will "promote continuity of operations through limiting public interactions" and will continue to work actively with residents needing accommodations on the payment of bills and other transactions, the release said.
In an effort to stop the spread of the virus, on Friday the city cancelled all children's programs at the Newberg Public Library and the Newberg-Dundee Police Department changed its protocol for dealing with the public. The entrance to the Public Safety Building will be staffed, but closed to the public. Police officers have been instructed to answer non-emergency calls to the 9-1-1 center when possible. The number for non-emergency calls is 503-538-8321. NDPD will continue to respond in person to emergency situations and those wishing personal visits. Community members may also request police reports via mail.
The city has scheduled additional cleaning to commonly-used surfaces throughout the day and deep cleaning of city buildings during the evenings. It is also putting measures in place to accommodate employees with compromised immune systems and employees that need to cover the cost of child care, the release said.
"The city is monitoring this evolving situation and considering additional steps to flatten the curve," Newberg City Manager Dan Weinheimer said. "While some actions may feel inconvenient, we appreciate the community's participation in measures aimed at limiting the spread of this disease. It is important that we protect those in our community who are at a higher risk from coronavirus."
City officials made a point of remarking that there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted through drinking water. Viruses can be disinfected through the use of chlorine and other treatment processes already used to process city tap water. The city's public works department is also confident that there will be no wastewater overflows that would expose the public to COVID-19. Measures are in place to ensure monitoring and redundant systems will continue during any possible outbreak.
The city will continue updating its website (www.NewbergOregon.gov/COVID-19) throughout the coming weeks with information and resources. The city also recommends signing up for alerts through the Oregon Health Authority website at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/pages/index.aspx.
In addition, the city recommended steps individuals can take to combat the virus:
– Remain calm
– Stay home if you are sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19
– Call your healthcare provider if you believe you have developed COVID-19.
– Continue utilizing preventative measures that can help stop the spread of the virus
– Do not flush cleaning wipes down the toilet including products labeled as "flushable." These products do not dissolve and can get stuck in underground sewer pipes causing overflows and sewer backups.
– PGE has announced they will be temporarily suspend service disconnections and asks customers to call with questions
– Citizens are encouraged to sign up for emergency notifications from the city through the its CodeRED Service. Residents can sign up for notifications on the city's website at https://www.newbergoregon.gov/
– Wash your hands and take appropriate precautions to limit your exposure to large gatherings of people.
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