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Outbreak updates

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

UNION COUNTY•The Union County Chamber of Commence announced Friday it is indefinitely postponing the annual Chamber Awards Banquet.

The chamber reported the action was to abide by Gov. Kate Brown’s executive order to limit the size of gatherings to more than 25 people “as well as do our part to help slow the spread of the recent coronavirus (COVID19).”

The chamber office is operational but not open to walk-in visitors. Staff is available only by phone (541-963-8588) and email ( Check the chamber’s website ( and social media for updates to follow.

•Union County Public Works is open to the public by appointment only.

•Grande Ronde Symphony Association canceled its spring 2020 rehearsals and events. This includes the April 11 and May 2 Chamber concerts and the May 27 Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra concert.

•Many banks closed offices but drive-throughs and ATMs remain open.

•The Oregon State University has closed all of its Extension Service locations, including in La Grande, to the public to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. OSU Extension Service in a n news release stated the closures will remain in effect until further notice. For questions or more information, contact the La Grande office at 541-963-1010.

•The Oregon Department of Forestry effective Monday will close all field offices to the public except by appointment. Offices will remain open and available by phone. Call the La Grande Unit Office at 541-963-3168.

LA GRANDE•La Grande Parks and Recreation rescheduled Pee Wee soccer for May. Meet Your Coach Day will be May 2.

•Veterans’ Memorial Pool is now closed to the public. The April 10 Easter Egg Swim at the pool is canceled.

•The EOU Small Business Development Center is not holding in-person client meetings but is available to offer assistance by phone (541-962-1532) or email (

•Union County Family Law Advisory Committee canceled the April 2 “Helping Children Cope with Divorce and Separation” workshop.

•The Social Security office is closed.

•Grande Ronde Fitness Club is closed.

ISLAND CITY•Island City City Hall is closed to the public. Staff is available via telephone (541-963-5017) and email ( The drive-through remains open Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Water/sewer payments can be made at the drive-through window, via telephone with the use of debit/credit cards, or at (all fees apply). Late notices and disconnections will be suspended for the month of March.

UNION•Union City Hall, Union Carnegie Library, Union Public Works and the Union Treatment Plant are closed to the public. City operations will continue.

Call City Hall at 541-562-5197 to make an appointment or other arrangements.

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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.