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Outbreak updates for Thursday, March 26, 2020

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These are the latest significant local and regional developments of the coronavirus outbreak. Look for more comprehensive coverage of these and other COVID-19 stories on our website,, and in subsequent issues of The Observer.


The Oregon National Guard will deliver critical supplies Thursday afternoon to Union County. The Guard will bring cots, blankets and linens. Union County Commissioner Matt Scarfo said the county and Grande Ronde Hospital wants to have a stock of supplies at the ready.

Union County Parks late Tuesday closed all county campgrounds and restrooms until further notice. This includes Mt. Emily Recreation Area and the reservoirs of Pilcher Creek, Thief Valley, and Wolf Creek. The county asked day users to adhere to social distancing requirements and maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet from others.

Union County has only one confirmed COVID-19 case. Oregon Health Authority and Union County Public Health continue to work on identifying and isolating individuals who may have been in close contact with the person while they were contagious.


The Union City Council declared a state of emergency, enabling the city to stand ready to take further action as needed.


Baker County as of Wednesday afternoon does not have a confirmed case of COVID-19, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

Baker County had closed its offices to the public, but many are still accessible by phone and email.

The Baker County Sheriff’s Office and Search and Rescue team have set up a military surplus tent at Saint Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City to provide extra space for coronavirus patients.

Baker City has closed city hall, 1655 First St., to the public. City employees will continue to work unless they feel ill, Mayor Loran Joseph said Monday afternoon.


North Powder has closed its city hall to walk-in traffic.

The city offices are open for business during regular office hours, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and are available by telephone. The town’s Public Works Department will continue on as usual other than limiting contact with the public.

The city also has canceled the April 6 city council meeting. If anything of significance comes up before the May meeting, the city will arrange a teleconference.


Wallowa County as of Wednesday afternoon does not have a confirmed case of COVID-19, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

Wallowa County has requested lodging facilities and businesses to participate in a voluntary closure for the next two weeks. The county also issued a reminder that all State Park facilities, overnight campgrounds, trails, restrooms, viewpoints and picnic areas are closed until further notice. This includes Wallowa Lake State Park.

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Coronavirus FAQ

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Can I get COVID-19 from my pets or other animals?

There is no reason at this time to think that any animals, including pets, in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States.

Pets have other types of coronaviruses that can make them sick, like canine and feline coronaviruses. These other coronaviruses cannot infect people and are not related to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals, such as washing your hands and maintaining good hygiene.

Should I avoid contact with pets or other animals if I am sick with COVID-19?

You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the new coronavirus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets.

What about imported animals or animal products?

CDC does not have any evidence to suggest that imported animals or animal products pose a risk for spreading COVID-19 in the United States.

What precautions should be taken for animals that have recently been imported from outside the United States?

At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets and service animals, can spread COVID-19. As with any animal introduced to a new environment, animals recently imported should be observed daily for signs of illness. If an animal becomes ill, the animal should be examined by a veterinarian. Call your local veterinary clinic before bringing the animal into the clinic and let them know that the animal was recently imported from another country.