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Union County declares emergency

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The Union County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday declared a state of emergency in the county due to the coronavirus outbreak.

LA GRANDE — The Union County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday declared a state of emergency.

The commissioners voted 3-0 to pass a resolution declaring an emergency as a local response to the outbreak of COVID-19.

J.B. Brock, Union County emergency services manager, said the resolution will help the county to respond faster to situations related to the new coronavirus.

It will give the county the authority to take certain steps, such as like drawing money from a variety of funds for the purchase of protective equipment and the like.

The declaration also provides the county the authority to take steps such as bypassing the bidding process if a contractor needs to be hired for an urgent project.

Commissioner Donna Beverage said the emergency declaration will make it easier for the county to help those in need of assistance.

“It will unleash opportunities for us to help,’’ Beverage said, noting that local business owners are among those who could be assisted by the county.

Brock told the commissioners before their vote that everyone needs to help each other to survive the COVID-19 crisis.

“We need to be taking care of each other as a community,’’ Brock said.

“We need to be checking in our neighbors, to call them or knock on their doors to see what they need.’’

Paul Anderes, chairman of the county board, encouraged anyone from Union, Wallowa or Baker counties who needs help during the COVID-19 crisis to visit the NE Oregon Joint Information Center on Facebook to find resources.

General assignment reporter

Beats include the communities of North Powder, Imbler, Island City and Union, education, Union County veterans programs and local history. Dick joined The Observer in 1983, first working as a sports and outdoors reporter.

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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.