Coos County Oregon

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COQUILLE — Coos County will limit public access to its courthouse and Coquille facilities effective Thursday, March 19 due to rising COVID-19 virus concerns.   

Following similar limitations set forth by numerous government entities around the world, Coos County Commissioners on Wednesday unanimously passed a motion to limit public access to several of its department offices.

In an attempt to slow down and stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, the county is hoping the new limitations will significantly reduce the amount of walk-in, foot traffic it receives on a daily basis.

“We really appreciate the public’s understanding and cooperation during this difficult time,” said Coos County Commissioner Melissa Cribbins. “We realize things are changing on a minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour basis and we’re just doing the best we can to try and protect the public health.”

Community members are being encouraged to plan ahead and schedule appointments before heading into the Coos County Courthouse or other Coquille county offices. While there have been no reported cases of the novel coronavirus in Coos County, health officials statewide have recorded a total of 68 cases in 14 counties.

According to the Oregon Health Authority, only two deaths have been recorded throughout the state in relation to the coronavirus as of March 18.

After hosting an emergency meeting last week to discuss the coronavirus with several department heads, commissioners continued on Tuesday to pass a number of safety measures aimed at protecting the general public and county employees.

Among the actions taken included the county declaring a local state of emergency, advising additional limitations and cancelations of non-essential, in-person meetings, reviewing CDC guidelines in combating the virus as well as passing a temporary leave policy for county employees in response to COVID-19.

The pandemic policy, which was reviewed Tuesday, March 17, detailed the county’s paid sick leave policy for certain employees as it relates to the coronavirus as well as provided additional safety guidelines.

For non-critical, classified employees who cannot telecommute, the option to utilize their leave accruals is available if they meet certain standards and fall into one of five categories outlined in the revised pandemic policy.

The categories involve a variety of direct impacts presented by COVID-19 to county employees and whether or not they are considered high risk for serious complications. Other safety guidelines mentioned in the policy included staggering shifts, telecommuting from home, restricting public access and practicing social distancing.

Public access to the county courthouse and its numerous offices will be limited through April 28. With its staff safety and health interests in mind as well as the wider community, several departments will be posting on the county’s website its limited and restricted services.

A list of contact information for numerous county departments can also be found in the web version of this article at The World’s website.

Coos County contact information at a glance:

Reporter Amanda Linares can be reached at 541-266-6039 or by email at worldnews3@countrymedia.net.

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