Business Social Distancing Essential to Slow COVID-19 Pandemic

Updated 3/23/20 to reflect updated cases and state guidance that the distance maintained should be at least SIX feet between people.

On March 22nd, the Oregon Health Authority announced 24 new COVID-19 cases in the state, bringing the state total to 161, including a case in Grant County, bordering part of Malheur County. Five lives have been lost to COVID-19 in Oregon. Idaho reported a total of 47 cases on March 22nd, including a case in Canyon County, less than 30 miles from Ontario. With an increasing number of positive cases affecting every state in the union, the likelihood of an outbreak across Malheur County increases each day.

Malheur County is stepping up measures to tackle the spread of COVID-19 with a Multi-Agency Coordination System and Incident Command, as the numbers of deaths and infections continue to grow in the state. The Malheur County Health Department has a response team dedicated to COVID-19 and is providing health resources, guidance, and technical assistance to partners while public health staff continue to provide essential services, adapting to social distancing guidelines.

All Oregon businesses and organizations have been asked to modify their practices to reduce gatherings and consider alternate approaches to work schedules and duties to reduce contact. Businesses are urged to assess their practices, implement strong social distancing measures, and close their doors temporarily if they cannot put the new guidance in place.

We remind all businesses to do the following:

  • Follow all Executive Orders of the Governor, including prohibiting on-premises consumption of food or drink
  • Implement social distancing protocols of at least six feet between customers ordering, waiting, or in line.
  • Follow the CDC Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
  • Ensuring employees practice appropriate hygiene measures, including regular, thorough hand washing.
  • Ensuring that employees who are sick remain home.
  • Create and follow an Infectious Disease Outbreak Response Plan. For assistance, review the CDC Guidance for Businesses.

Our highest priority is the health and safety of our community. To reduce the spread of COVID-19, to protect Malheur County residents who are at highest risk for contracting the disease, and to help avoid overwhelming local and regional healthcare capacity, it is necessary for every single person to follow social distancing and community mitigation measures.

For more information on COVID-19:

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