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  •   9/9/2020 6:04 PMCounty Office Status & Wildfire Recovery Information

County News

  • EPA launches phone hotline for wildfire-affected property owners

    EPA launches phone hotline for wildfire-affected property owners

    Date: 10/16/2020 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Fire Information - English

    Phone line will operate from 8:00AM to 8:00PM, seven days a week, and will feature a Spanish language option. 

    Oregon property owners ready to begin rebuilding and recovering from this summer's devastating wildfires now have a dedicated phone number (541-225-5549) to ask questions about EPA's removal of household hazardous waste at their property or provide additional details about their property that will help speed the EPA removal work. The hotline will offer service in both English and Spanish.

    The removal of household hazardous waste is required before the property can be cleared of ash and debris. Property owners who have not already signed and completed a "Right of Entry" form with their county are strongly encouraged to do so to help speed cleanup operations in their area. See: Oregon's Wildfire Cleanup website for more information on the needed forms.

    Beginning Monday, October 19, 2020 (for those Jackson County properties with a signed "Right of Entry" form), EPA cleanup crews will begin assessing and removing household hazardous waste from fire-damaged properties. These wastes include products like paint, cleaners, solvents, pesticides, fuel, oil, batteries, ammunition, and pressurized tanks.

    Once completed, properties will receive a sign indicating they've completed Step 1 , making them eligible for the next recovery Step: ash and debris removal. See: Jackson County's Wildfire Recovery website to sign your ROE for household hazardous waste removal.

    EPA never asks for personal financial information like Social Security numbers or bank account numbers and is only contacting people regarding household hazardous waste removal. If property owners haven't already visited Oregon's Wildfire Resources for Home and Business Owners, they should consider doing so soon. 

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  • FEMA deadline extended to Nov. 30

    FEMA deadline extended to Nov. 30

    Date: 11/23/2020 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Fire Information - English

    ​FEMA news release Nov. 23, 2020

    Have you registered with FEMA yet? Are you thinking you wouldn't be eligible because you have insurance? You should still apply. If you are a survivor affected by the Oregon wildfires and live in Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn or Marion county, apply by Monday, Nov. 30.

    "The deadline to apply for FEMA assistance is fast approaching," said Federal Coordinating Officer Dolph Diemont, who is in charge of the Oregon wildfire recovery. "There's still time and we know there are survivors who still need our assistance. We want to urge survivors affected by these fires to get the most out of their recovery and apply today."

    FEMA assistance is your tax dollars at work in Oregon, providing funds to help kickstart your recovery process. To apply, visit www.disasterassistance.gov/, download the FEMA app, or call 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). If you use a Relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel, you should update FEMA with your assigned number for that service. Be aware that phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number. Multilingual operators are available. (Press 2 for Spanish)

    Here are 10 facts about the help that may be available to you:

    • You won't be taking grant money away from someone else by applying. There are enough disaster funds to assist every eligible applicant.
    • If you applied for assistance through a voluntary organization or other federal or state agency, this does not register you with FEMA.
    • FEMA funds provided to eligible homeowners and renters do not have to be repaid. Remember: federal assistance cannot duplicate insurance or payments from other sources.
    • FEMA assistance is nontaxable and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid or other federal or state benefits.
    • If you are insured, but also had damage to your well and/or septic system, or a private road or bridge, you may be eligible for financial assistance from FEMA. These items are considered uninsurable and FEMA assistance would not be a duplication of funds you receive from your insurance settlement.
    • If you are underinsured and your insurance settlement isn't enough to cover your expenses, FEMA might be able to help.
    • If your insurance settlement is delayed by 30 days or more, and you need immediate money to relocate, FEMA may be able to help. Contact the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) to find out what you need to do to get this assistance. NOTE: Any money you may get from FEMA that you use for costs that will be reimbursed by your insurance settlement must be repaid to FEMA when you get your insurance payment.
    • If your car had uninsured damage caused by the disaster, you may be eligible for money to help repair or replace it. Certain requirements apply, but you must register with FEMA first to determine eligibility.
    • Disaster survivors affected by the Oregon wildfires and straight-line winds can also get personalized mitigation advice to repair and rebuild safer and stronger from a FEMA Mitigation Specialist. For information on how to rebuild safer and stronger or to inquire as to your new flood risk following a fire near you, email FEMA-R10-MIT@fema.dhs.gov, a FEMA Hazard Mitigation specialist will respond to survivor inquiries.
    • If you applied for a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan for the COVID-19 disaster, be aware those loans are separate from SBA loans for the wildfire disasters. You should apply if FEMA refers you to SBA for the recent wildfires. You may be eligible for separate loans for both the COVID-19 and wildfire disasters. The deadline to apply for an SBA low-interest disaster loan is also Nov. 30, 2020. Applicants may be eligible for an increase of up to 20 percent in their SBA property damage loan amount to pay for measures to make their property more resistant to future disaster damage. Survivors can find out more and apply for a loan at disasterloanassistance.sba.gov. For additional assistance, contact the SBA's Customer Service Line. Customer service representatives are available to assist individuals and business owners, answer questions about SBA's disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each person complete their electronic loan application. The SBA Customer Service Line is open 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST daily. Call 800-659-2955 or email DCS@sba.gov. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.
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  • How to Appeal a FEMA Disaster Assistance Decision

    How to Appeal a FEMA Disaster Assistance Decision

    Date: 10/26/2020 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by:

    ​Joint press release from FEMA and Oregon Emergency Management

    Disaster survivors affected by wildfires and straight-line winds may receive a letter from FEMA stating they are ineligible for assistance, but this may not be the final word. If an applicant believes FEMA's decision was incorrect, they can file an appeal with FEMA.

    The first step is for applicants to read their determination letter carefully to understand why FEMA decided the application was "ineligible." Many times, it could be something as simple as providing missing documents or information.

    Important Documents to Include with an Appeal Letter

    Often, applicants need only to submit extra documents for FEMA to process their application. FEMA may find an applicant ineligible if the following documents are missing:

    ▪ Insurance documents: Provide documents from your insurance company that show your policy coverage and/or settlement is not enough to make essential home repairs, provide a place to stay, or replace certain contents. FEMA cannot duplicate homeowner or renter insurance benefits.
    ▪ Proof of occupancy: Provide documents that prove the damaged home or rental was your primary
    residence by supplying a copy of utility bills, driver's license or lease.
    ▪ Proof of ownership. Provide mortgage or insurance documents, tax receipts or a deed. If you don't have a deed handy, contact your local or county officials about obtaining a copy.
    ▪ Lost documents? Visit the following website for information on replacing lost documents:
    https://www.usa.gov/replace-vital-documents

    All appeals must be in writing. The appeal letter should explain why the applicant thinks FEMA's decision is not correct. When filing an appeal, it is important to include any documentation FEMA requests and/or that supports the appeal claim. Also, if the person writing the appeal letter is not the applicant or a member of the household, applicants must submit a signed statement that the writer is authorized to act on the behalf of the applicant.

    How to Submit an Appeal

    IMPORTANT: Be sure to include the cover letter you received from FEMA when you submit your appeal documents.

    ▪ Mail documents and your appeal letter within 60 days of receiving your determination letter to: FEMA National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055 Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055

    ▪ Fax them to 800-827-8112.

    ▪ To set up a FEMA online account or to upload documents online, visit disasterassistance.gov and click on "Check Your Application and Log In" and follow the directions.

    Applicants will receive a decision letter within 90 days of FEMA's receipt of your appeal.

    Those who need help understanding their letter can call FEMA at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). Those who use a Relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their assigned number for that service. They should be aware phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number. Multilingual operators are available. (Press 2 for Spanish)

    Read More
  • EPA Oregon Wildfire Recovery Review and Update

    EPA Oregon Wildfire Recovery Review and Update

    Date: 11/24/2020 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Fire Information - English

    ​Oregon Emergency Management Press Release (Nov. 24, 2020)

    As EPA’s work winds down, some response crews remain to handle final cleanups

    As EPA pauses to retool its wildfire household hazardous waste recovery operations for the Thanksgiving holiday, agency officials are reflecting on the results achieved by cleanup teams over the past 90 days in Oregon. After the holiday, EPA will continue reducing their “footprint” in the state, with many crews already departing to return to their normal schedules, teams and families.

    Since mobilizing on September 24 by FEMA “Mission Assignment,” 17 EPA field recovery teams, working 12-hour days, seven days a week, have retrieved and removed household hazardous waste from over 2300 fire-ravaged parcels in eight Oregon counties. In addition, EPA teams stabilized and consolidated ash and debris from more than 230 parcels along Oregon waterways - including five miles of the Bear Creek riparian area in Jackson County - protecting water quality from toxic runoff. In all, EPA mobilized over 250 responders, both virtually and in the field, from all over the country to support response operations.

    According to EPA Incident Commander, Randy Nattis, the Agency has been proud to help Oregon recover from the devastating fall wildfires, crediting local support and guidance as critical to EPA’s success.

    “Make no mistake, I couldn’t be prouder of our work and what our teams have accomplished,” said EPA’s Nattis. “But we are standing on the shoulders of the County Public Works directors, DEQ On-Scene Coordinators, FEMA disaster officials, our support contractors and countless Oregon responders. Projects of this size, scope and scale demand ultimate teamwork. And we couldn’t have asked for better, more resilient partners than Oregonians.”

    With Step 2 of the Oregon state-managed cleanup getting underway, Step 2 cleanup crews are expected to begin clearing properties throughout wildfire impacted areas in mid-December, removing hazard trees, ash and debris. EPA’s presence will remain at a more compact profile, with several smaller mobile crews remaining to respond to any additional properties that still need attention. EPA crews will also back up ODOT’s contractors as they start removing heavy debris, cars and appliances and find hidden household hazardous waste, cylinders, ammunition or other hazardous materials.

    For more information about EPA’s Step 1 work, please visit our 2020 Fire Recovery Story Map . For more information about Oregon’s Step 2 work please visit the 2020 Oregon Wildfire Recovery website or call the Wildfire Debris Cleanup Hotline at 503-934-1700.

    Read More
  • FEMA External Outreach Center now open in Stayton

    FEMA External Outreach Center now open in Stayton

    Date: 10/9/2020 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Fire Information - English

    ​A FEMA External Outreach Center opened today, Oct. 9, in Stayton to assist Oregon residents in Marion and Linn counties affected by recent wildfires and straight-line winds. There are also External Outreach Centers in Medford and Eugene.

    The center offers in-person visits, for residents to get information about their application, ask questions about letters they receive from FEMA, and have their documents scanned to be part of their application.

    Representatives from FEMA's Individual Assistance program will be available at the center.

    Hours for all FEMA External Outreach Centers are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

    Open - Oct. 9:

    FEMA External Outreach Center #3
    Stayton Community Center
    400 W. Virginia St.,
    Stayton, Oregon 97385

    Also Open:

    FEMA External Outreach Center #1
    Central High School
    815 South Oakdale Ave.
    Medford, Oregon 97501

    FEMA External Outreach Center #2
    Lane Events Center
    796 W. 13th Ave.
    Eugene, Oregon 97402

    Bilingual representatives from FEMA's Hazard Mitigation program will be available at the External Outreach Center in Medford to provide rebuilding tips, answer questions about home repair, and how to process flood insurance claims. If you cannot visit the center, you can email your questions to FEMA-R10-MIT@FEMA.DHS.GOV and a FEMA Hazard Mitigation specialist will respond to your inquiry.

    To reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread through person-to-person contact, wearing a mask or face covering will be required to gain entry and visitors will receive "no touch" temperature screenings. Hand sanitizer will be available to survivors and staff.

    Federal staff will wear masks, face shields and gloves. Workstations will be spaced six feet apart to provide an extra level of protection for survivors and staff.

    FEMA will ensure that common areas are cleaned regularly during the day and workstations are sanitized after each visitor.

    Survivors can visit any of the External Outreach Centers for in-person help, however, they do not need to visit an External Outreach Center to apply or update their application. They can apply for assistance or update an application in the following ways:

    Call FEMA toll-free at 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) or (TTY: 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. PDT, seven days a week.

    Visit DisasterAssistance.gov.

    Check FEMA's mobile app.

    Those who use a Relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their assigned number for that service. They should be aware phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number.

    Read More
 

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  • Nov
    24

    EPA Oregon Wildfire Recovery Review and Update

    Posted by: Fire Information - English

    ​Oregon Emergency Management Press Release (Nov. 24, 2020)

    As EPA’s work winds down, some response crews remain to handle final cleanups

    As EPA pauses to retool its wildfire household hazardous waste recovery operations for the Thanksgiving holiday, agency officials are reflecting on the results achieved by cleanup teams over the past 90 days in Oregon. After the holiday, EPA will continue reducing their “footprint” in the state, with many crews already departing to return to their normal schedules, teams and families.

    Since mobilizing on September 24 by FEMA “Mission Assignment,” 17 EPA field recovery teams, working 12-hour days, seven days a week, have retrieved and removed household hazardous waste from over 2300 fire-ravaged parcels in eight Oregon counties. In addition, EPA teams stabilized and consolidated ash and debris from more than 230 parcels along Oregon waterways - including five miles of the Bear Creek riparian area in Jackson County - protecting water quality from toxic runoff. In all, EPA mobilized over 250 responders, both virtually and in the field, from all over the country to support response operations.

    According to EPA Incident Commander, Randy Nattis, the Agency has been proud to help Oregon recover from the devastating fall wildfires, crediting local support and guidance as critical to EPA’s success.

    “Make no mistake, I couldn’t be prouder of our work and what our teams have accomplished,” said EPA’s Nattis. “But we are standing on the shoulders of the County Public Works directors, DEQ On-Scene Coordinators, FEMA disaster officials, our support contractors and countless Oregon responders. Projects of this size, scope and scale demand ultimate teamwork. And we couldn’t have asked for better, more resilient partners than Oregonians.”

    With Step 2 of the Oregon state-managed cleanup getting underway, Step 2 cleanup crews are expected to begin clearing properties throughout wildfire impacted areas in mid-December, removing hazard trees, ash and debris. EPA’s presence will remain at a more compact profile, with several smaller mobile crews remaining to respond to any additional properties that still need attention. EPA crews will also back up ODOT’s contractors as they start removing heavy debris, cars and appliances and find hidden household hazardous waste, cylinders, ammunition or other hazardous materials.

    For more information about EPA’s Step 1 work, please visit our 2020 Fire Recovery Story Map . For more information about Oregon’s Step 2 work please visit the 2020 Oregon Wildfire Recovery website or call the Wildfire Debris Cleanup Hotline at 503-934-1700.

    Read More
    EPA Oregon Wildfire Recovery Review and Update
  • Nov
    23

    FEMA deadline extended to Nov. 30

    Posted by: Fire Information - English

    ​FEMA news release Nov. 23, 2020

    Have you registered with FEMA yet? Are you thinking you wouldn't be eligible because you have insurance? You should still apply. If you are a survivor affected by the Oregon wildfires and live in Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn or Marion county, apply by Monday, Nov. 30.

    "The deadline to apply for FEMA assistance is fast approaching," said Federal Coordinating Officer Dolph Diemont, who is in charge of the Oregon wildfire recovery. "There's still time and we know there are survivors who still need our assistance. We want to urge survivors affected by these fires to get the most out of their recovery and apply today."

    FEMA assistance is your tax dollars at work in Oregon, providing funds to help kickstart your recovery process. To apply, visit www.disasterassistance.gov/, download the FEMA app, or call 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). If you use a Relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel, you should update FEMA with your assigned number for that service. Be aware that phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number. Multilingual operators are available. (Press 2 for Spanish)

    Here are 10 facts about the help that may be available to you:

    • You won't be taking grant money away from someone else by applying. There are enough disaster funds to assist every eligible applicant.
    • If you applied for assistance through a voluntary organization or other federal or state agency, this does not register you with FEMA.
    • FEMA funds provided to eligible homeowners and renters do not have to be repaid. Remember: federal assistance cannot duplicate insurance or payments from other sources.
    • FEMA assistance is nontaxable and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid or other federal or state benefits.
    • If you are insured, but also had damage to your well and/or septic system, or a private road or bridge, you may be eligible for financial assistance from FEMA. These items are considered uninsurable and FEMA assistance would not be a duplication of funds you receive from your insurance settlement.
    • If you are underinsured and your insurance settlement isn't enough to cover your expenses, FEMA might be able to help.
    • If your insurance settlement is delayed by 30 days or more, and you need immediate money to relocate, FEMA may be able to help. Contact the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) to find out what you need to do to get this assistance. NOTE: Any money you may get from FEMA that you use for costs that will be reimbursed by your insurance settlement must be repaid to FEMA when you get your insurance payment.
    • If your car had uninsured damage caused by the disaster, you may be eligible for money to help repair or replace it. Certain requirements apply, but you must register with FEMA first to determine eligibility.
    • Disaster survivors affected by the Oregon wildfires and straight-line winds can also get personalized mitigation advice to repair and rebuild safer and stronger from a FEMA Mitigation Specialist. For information on how to rebuild safer and stronger or to inquire as to your new flood risk following a fire near you, email FEMA-R10-MIT@fema.dhs.gov, a FEMA Hazard Mitigation specialist will respond to survivor inquiries.
    • If you applied for a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan for the COVID-19 disaster, be aware those loans are separate from SBA loans for the wildfire disasters. You should apply if FEMA refers you to SBA for the recent wildfires. You may be eligible for separate loans for both the COVID-19 and wildfire disasters. The deadline to apply for an SBA low-interest disaster loan is also Nov. 30, 2020. Applicants may be eligible for an increase of up to 20 percent in their SBA property damage loan amount to pay for measures to make their property more resistant to future disaster damage. Survivors can find out more and apply for a loan at disasterloanassistance.sba.gov. For additional assistance, contact the SBA's Customer Service Line. Customer service representatives are available to assist individuals and business owners, answer questions about SBA's disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each person complete their electronic loan application. The SBA Customer Service Line is open 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST daily. Call 800-659-2955 or email DCS@sba.gov. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.
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    FEMA deadline extended to Nov. 30
  • Nov
    16

    State offers no-cost wildfire debris cleanup for all Oregon homes and businesses

    Posted by: Fire Information - English

    Press release issued by the Oregon Debris Management Task Force on Nov. 16, 2020

    SALEM – The State of Oregon will provide no-cost wildfire ash and debris cleanup for all homes and businesses in the eight counties affected by the disastrous September wildfires, the Oregon Debris Management Task Force announced today. This cleanup includes mobile home parks, second homes, businesses, and other structures.

    Home and business owners that opt into this government-led wildfire cleanup program will pay no upfront costs for any cleanup work. Additionally, no government agency – state, federal or contractor - will seek payment from any insurance policy unless it is specifically designated for debris removal or left over after the home or business is completely rebuilt.

    The no-cost cleanup is available to home and business owners in Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, and Marion counties.

    "Our mission is to safely clear the ash and debris as quickly as possible, and leave Oregonians with a clean site so they can rebuild," said Kris Strickler, director of the Oregon Department of Transportation. "This will take time, strong partnerships and a lot of hard work, but we're already well on our way. I encourage every Oregonian who lost a home or business in the wildfires to sign a Right of Entry form with their county, if they haven't already, to help keep this important work moving forward."

    Property owners need to sign a Right of Entry form to allow cleanup crews onto their property. Cleanup crews will remove ash and structural debris, hazard trees, concrete foundations, and burned vehicles. To submit your Right of Entry form and for more information, visit wildfire.oregon.gov/cleanup or call the wildfire debris cleanup hotline: 503-934-1700.

    Wildfire cleanup is a two-step process. Step 1 is removal of household hazardous waste, which is dangerous to people, communities and the environment. This work is nearly completed in all fire-impacted counties. Progress on Step 1 efforts can be viewed on EPA's 2020 Oregon Fires Recovery website.

    Step 2 is removal of ash and debris. The state is currently hiring contractors to carry out this work, scheduled to begin in December 2020. The task force is working closely with local governments to determine cleanup priorities for each area. Given factors such as weather impacts, property access limitations and the large area to be covered, Step 2 is estimated to take approximately 6 to 18 months to complete statewide. As the state task force gets contractors on board, more clarity on timing will be provided.

    The 2020 September wildfires were the largest and most expensive disaster in Oregon's history. Nine Oregonians lost their lives, more than 1 million acres burned and over 5,000 homes and businesses were destroyed. The state has transitioned from immediate fire response to statewide recovery.

    FEMA will reimburse the state for a portion of eligible costs. The State of Oregon will fund the remaining costs, regardless of FEMA reimbursement. Initial estimates put the debris cleanup tally at over $600 million, including $326 million for ash and debris removal and $295 million to remove damaged trees. This estimate is preliminary and is likely to change.

    Wildfire cleanup webpage: https://wildfire.oregon.gov/cleanup

    Wildfire debris cleanup hotline: 503-934-1700

    Oregon's Debris Management Task Force, which includes the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, Oregon Department of Transportation, and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, is coordinating federal, state, and local government agencies to clean up debris from the 2020 Oregon wildfires.

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    State offers no-cost wildfire debris cleanup for all Oregon homes and businesses
  • Oct
    27

    Local health officials urge public to receive flu vaccine this fall

    Posted by: Fire Information - English

    As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread in Marion County, local health officials are urging the public to be proactive in receiving a flu shot this season. Although it’s too early to say how serious this flu season will be, a bad influenza season has the potential to pose a burden on health care resources with the addition of COVID-19.

    Last year, 11,913 cases of flu were reported in Oregon. Six-hundred sixty-nine people were hospitalized, and there were three pediatric deaths. The flu vaccine is effective in reducing transmission of flu throughout the community, and this year it is more important than ever to receive a flu shot.

    Marion County Public Health Administrator Katrina Rothenberger hopes community members will be diligent in getting flu vaccines this year: “More than ever, it is critical that residents of Marion County get a flu vaccine in order to protect those who are most vulnerable in our community and to preserve medical resources to treat patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Similar to wearing a face covering, it is a simple step we can all take to protect one another.”

    While many often wait to get a flu shot until later in the season, physicians recommend getting the vaccine earlier this year.

    “With the public so focused on COVID-19, the importance of annual flu vaccination may be somewhat muted this year,” said Matthew Boles, MD, vice president of medical affairs at Salem Health. “Therefore, it is crucial that we communicate to our residents to get a flu vaccine, while continuing to practice good hand hygiene and masking to control spread of both COVID-19 and influenza.”

    Flu vaccines are available from local health care providers and many pharmacies. Community members in need of assistance accessing a flu vaccine may contact Marion County Public Health Clinic by calling 503-588-4342 or visiting immunize.mchealthy.net. 

    About Salem Health Hospitals and Clinics: Salem Health offers exceptional care to people in and around Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley. It comprises hospitals in Salem and Dallas, a medical group of primary and specialty care providers, plus other affiliated services. Visit us at www.salemhealth.org; “Like” us on www.facebook.com/salemhealth; follow us on Instagram and Twitter: @salemhealth; and view us at www.youtube.com/salemhealth

    About Marion County Health & Human Services Department:
    Marion County Health & Human Services Department strives to create a safe and welcoming community where all people can access high quality health and human services, and are supported to achieve their highest level of health. The department is comprised of four divisions offering a range of services from immunizations to mental health crisis services. Learn more at www.MCHealthy.net.

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    Local health officials urge public to receive flu vaccine this fall
  • Oct
    26

    How to Appeal a FEMA Disaster Assistance Decision

    Posted by:

    ​Joint press release from FEMA and Oregon Emergency Management

    Disaster survivors affected by wildfires and straight-line winds may receive a letter from FEMA stating they are ineligible for assistance, but this may not be the final word. If an applicant believes FEMA's decision was incorrect, they can file an appeal with FEMA.

    The first step is for applicants to read their determination letter carefully to understand why FEMA decided the application was "ineligible." Many times, it could be something as simple as providing missing documents or information.

    Important Documents to Include with an Appeal Letter

    Often, applicants need only to submit extra documents for FEMA to process their application. FEMA may find an applicant ineligible if the following documents are missing:

    ▪ Insurance documents: Provide documents from your insurance company that show your policy coverage and/or settlement is not enough to make essential home repairs, provide a place to stay, or replace certain contents. FEMA cannot duplicate homeowner or renter insurance benefits.
    ▪ Proof of occupancy: Provide documents that prove the damaged home or rental was your primary
    residence by supplying a copy of utility bills, driver's license or lease.
    ▪ Proof of ownership. Provide mortgage or insurance documents, tax receipts or a deed. If you don't have a deed handy, contact your local or county officials about obtaining a copy.
    ▪ Lost documents? Visit the following website for information on replacing lost documents:
    https://www.usa.gov/replace-vital-documents

    All appeals must be in writing. The appeal letter should explain why the applicant thinks FEMA's decision is not correct. When filing an appeal, it is important to include any documentation FEMA requests and/or that supports the appeal claim. Also, if the person writing the appeal letter is not the applicant or a member of the household, applicants must submit a signed statement that the writer is authorized to act on the behalf of the applicant.

    How to Submit an Appeal

    IMPORTANT: Be sure to include the cover letter you received from FEMA when you submit your appeal documents.

    ▪ Mail documents and your appeal letter within 60 days of receiving your determination letter to: FEMA National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055 Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055

    ▪ Fax them to 800-827-8112.

    ▪ To set up a FEMA online account or to upload documents online, visit disasterassistance.gov and click on "Check Your Application and Log In" and follow the directions.

    Applicants will receive a decision letter within 90 days of FEMA's receipt of your appeal.

    Those who need help understanding their letter can call FEMA at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). Those who use a Relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their assigned number for that service. They should be aware phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number. Multilingual operators are available. (Press 2 for Spanish)

    Read More
    How to Appeal a FEMA Disaster Assistance Decision
  • Oct
    21

    EPA stands-up Wildfire Recovery Response Staging Area at in Salem

    Posted by: Fire Information - English

    ​As the next step in Oregon's wildfire rebuilding and recovery, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been asked by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State of Oregon to collect household hazardous materials from burned properties to protect residents and to ensure these materials are disposed of properly and safely.

    To accomplish this task and aid Oregon's recovery, EPA is now assembling teams and setting up a temporary equipment staging area to help residents in Marion County and surrounding counties recover from the fire and begin rebuilding their lives. This Response Staging Area will be similar to the one recently established in Central Point, Oregon, as part of EPA's operations in Jackson County.

    The Response Staging Area will occupy 5.4 acres of a parking area within the Oregon State Fair and Expo Center, located at 2330 17th Street NE, in Salem. Additional, satellite "Transfer Station" areas are being planned for other areas as cleanup operations expand and accelerate.

    The staging area is expected to be operational by October 26, 2020. EPA is deeply grateful for the State Fair, State of Oregon and City of Salem's assistance and flexibility, allowing EPA's Response Staging Area to temporarily share the fairgrounds property and assist the community in recovery.

    EPA and their contractors will operate the facility, which will be secured 24 hours a day, where response workers will evaluate, organize and consolidate materials that EPA field teams will be recovering from burned properties in the area. It will also serve as the main assembly, assignment and dispatch point for agency responders and contractors each morning as they head to area worksites.

    To protect workers and neighbors, air monitors will be used around the work site to be sure asbestos fibers and other harmful chemicals are not released to the air. In addition, locals may see the workers in HAZMAT suits to protect them from prolonged exposure to potentially harmful materials. EPA response officials ask everyone except authorized personnel to avoid the area due to the expected volume of vehicle traffic and construction activity over the next few months.

    Fire-affected Oregon property owners now have a dedicated phone number - 541-225-5549 - to ask questions about EPA's work at their property or to provide additional details about their property that will help speed the EPA removal work. The hotline offers service in both English and Spanish. Property owners now have another tool, the EPA Fire Recovery Story Map to view work progress in the area and get the latest information available about their property.

    EPA and state officials want to stress that Response Staging Areas are NOT Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) drop-off centers for the community. Only authorized personnel will be allowed access to the site. Residents should contact their city or county recycling coordinators or public works departments to learn more about HHW collection services in their area.

    Once the materials and containers arrive on site in sealed plastic containers and packaging, they will be inspected, organized and secured for shipment. They will be removed promptly by truck to be safely disposed of at a licensed & permitted disposal facility. Materials handled at the site may include:

    • BBQ & outdoor stove propane tanks

    • Cylinders, contents unknown, that can be transported safely

    • Batteries, ballasts, full and partial containers of household chemicals

    • Pool chemicals and household cleaners, polishes, varnish solvents and degreasers

    The Response Staging Area is expected to operate between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm, seven days a week, for approximately two months. EPA expects moderate levels of vehicle activity during operating hours, there will be bright lights illuminating the area for safety and unfortunately some unavoidable noise. Response officials are thanking local residents in advance for their patience and understanding during the construction, operation and dismantling of the facility when EPA's work in the area is complete.

    EPA's Response Staging Area is part of federal, state and local actions responding to the recent tragic wildfires, aimed at helping Oregon residents recover and rebuild their lives. For more information about the Wildfire Response please visit: Wildfire.oregon.gov/cleanup.

    Read More
    EPA stands-up Wildfire Recovery Response Staging Area at in Salem
  • Oct
    19

    Marion County 2020-21 Property Taxes

    Posted by: Assessor's Office - Tax Collection

    ​Marion County tax statements will be mailed Monday, October 19, 2020, and should arrive in property owner mailboxes shortly thereafter. Tom Rohlfing, Marion County Assessor, certified the 2020-21 Property Tax Roll on October 13, 2020.

    As of the January 1, 2020 valuation date, the aggregate Real Market Value (RMV) of all property countywide increased by 4.87% from last year, to $53.15 billion. Real Market Value is the estimated amount in cash that could reasonably be expected to be paid for a property by an informed buyer to an informed seller.

    Escalating values of residences and residential land located in cities and towns contributed to the increase, jumping the total RMV to $24.32 billion or 5.82% increase from 2019. The total value of rural property, including acreage homes, farms, and forest lands, also showed continued growth with a total RMV of $11.77 billion or 4.34% increase from 2019. Commercial and industrial properties have shown a slightly slower growth with a total RMV of $14.42 billion or 2.95% increase from 2019.

    Due to Measure 50 benefits, some homeowners will experience much smaller tax increases than the preceding figures suggest. The typical unchanged home will experience only a 3% increase in assessed value no matter where they are located in the county. However, changes in tax rates due to new or expiring bonds will significantly affect owners in selected communities.

    Assessed Value countywide grew by 4.21% to $27.62 billion, standing at just 51.96% of total Real Market Value. A big factor in the gap between market and assessed values, of course, is due to the Measure 50 limit of 3% annual growth in the Maximum Assessed Value of unchanged property. However, 13,293 properties receive sharply reduced assessed values and taxes due to farm or forest special assessment, and 17,681 properties receive full or partial tax exemptions. The city of Hubbard will see tax increases of about 9% due to new Hubbard Rural Fire Protection Local Option Levy.   

    Primary beneficiaries of Marion County property taxes are schools, the community college, and educational service districts receiving (46.13%) of the total. Other major recipients include cities (22.53%), Marion County government (17.30%), and fire districts (6.22%). Urban renewal districts receive about (3.29%). These percentages are similar to last year. 

    For the residents of the Santiam Canyon, please accept our deepest sympathies for the tragedies endured as a result of the Beachie Creek and Lionshead Fires. We know many of you have experienced great loss as a result of these fires. Marion County follows state law in tax assessment following damages by fire or Acts of God. Real market value of property affected by the wildfires will be reflected on property tax statements next year. People who have experienced a loss to taxable property will need to submit an Application for Property Tax Proration by June 30, 2021, to potentially get their current year property taxes prorated.

    Mr. Rohlfing encourages property owners to promptly review their tax statement for accuracy. This includes checking for correct ownership, mailing, and location addresses. To aid with this, the Assessor’s Office provides a wide array of information on its website, including more detailed information about how each property is assessed.  The property records portion of the Assessor’s Office website allows you to search multiple ways, including a map search tool to help locate properties.

    Taxes are due by November 16, 2020, to receive the 3% discount and avoid interest charges. Owners with questions, or who feel changes are needed, should contact the Assessor’s Office at 503-588-5144. Those who disagree with the Real Market Value placed on their property are encouraged to request a review prior to filing an appeal. If the property owner still does not agree with the value once the review is completed, instructions on the back of the tax statement describe how to appeal to the local Board of Property Tax Appeals, comprised of community volunteers.

    Read More
    Marion County 2020-21 Property Taxes
  • Oct
    16

    EPA launches phone hotline for wildfire-affected property owners

    Posted by: Fire Information - English

    Phone line will operate from 8:00AM to 8:00PM, seven days a week, and will feature a Spanish language option. 

    Oregon property owners ready to begin rebuilding and recovering from this summer's devastating wildfires now have a dedicated phone number (541-225-5549) to ask questions about EPA's removal of household hazardous waste at their property or provide additional details about their property that will help speed the EPA removal work. The hotline will offer service in both English and Spanish.

    The removal of household hazardous waste is required before the property can be cleared of ash and debris. Property owners who have not already signed and completed a "Right of Entry" form with their county are strongly encouraged to do so to help speed cleanup operations in their area. See: Oregon's Wildfire Cleanup website for more information on the needed forms.

    Beginning Monday, October 19, 2020 (for those Jackson County properties with a signed "Right of Entry" form), EPA cleanup crews will begin assessing and removing household hazardous waste from fire-damaged properties. These wastes include products like paint, cleaners, solvents, pesticides, fuel, oil, batteries, ammunition, and pressurized tanks.

    Once completed, properties will receive a sign indicating they've completed Step 1 , making them eligible for the next recovery Step: ash and debris removal. See: Jackson County's Wildfire Recovery website to sign your ROE for household hazardous waste removal.

    EPA never asks for personal financial information like Social Security numbers or bank account numbers and is only contacting people regarding household hazardous waste removal. If property owners haven't already visited Oregon's Wildfire Resources for Home and Business Owners, they should consider doing so soon. 

    Read More
    EPA launches phone hotline for wildfire-affected property owners
  • Oct
    14

    Remaining wildfire evacuation levels lifted in Marion County

    Posted by: Fire Information - English

    Effective at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, the Marion County Sheriff's Office is removing all remaining wildfire evacuation levels in Marion County following close consultation with fire management officials. There may be some roadways in the area that are closed for inspection and repairs. Up to date information on closures can be found by visiting tripcheck.com.

    As a reminder, the Oregon Department of Transportation released the following statement yesterday, October 13, 2020:

    "OR 22 in the Santiam Canyon will open to thru traffic beginning at 7 p.m. tonight. Sections of the highway have been closed to traffic or controlled with pilot cars since Sept. 7 when a wind storm and series of wildfires caused devastating damage to communities and creating a series of hazards for travelers.

    The Oregon Department of Transportation estimates that over 30,000 hazard trees have been removed along a 40-mile stretch of OR 22 that was heavily impacted by the winds and wildfires. Hazard trees are dead, dying or leaning trees that were damaged by the wildfires, and would likely come down on the highway posing a risk to travelers.

    Travelers should be aware of the following:

    The speed limit is reduced to 40 mph between Gates (milepost 33) and Pamelia Creek Road (milepost 63).

    Significant work continues in the canyon and travelers should expect delays throughout the burn area.

    Utility companies are working throughout the corridor to repair power lines. Utilities and ODOT continue to cut down hazard trees.

    In addition to the ongoing work zones, hazards to travelers include damaged guardrail, roadside log decks and slash piles from the hazard tree removal, as well as the potential for falling rocks.

    With fall and winter rains beginning, slides and debris flows are a particular concern, especially in areas where the vegetation, tree roots and underbrush have been stripped away.

    Since many businesses and other facilities were damaged or destroyed by the fires, there are limited services available throughout the Santiam Canyon.

    Fill your gas tank, pack enough water, food and other supplies for the journey.

    Travelers are urged to use extreme caution while traveling through the burn area. Add extra travel time or consider using an alternative route.

    Access for pedestrians, including those with disabilities, will be available and identified through or around the work zones"

    The Willamette National Forest remains closed in certain areas (refer to map for specific areas of closure). All recreation sites INSIDE OF THE CLOSURE AREA remain closed as of September 25th, 2020 include the following:

    Middle Fork Ranger District

    • All campgrounds

    • Fall Creek Road and all adjacent sites

    McKenzie River Ranger District

    • All campgrounds

    • Road 19 between Hwy 126 and Road 1980

    • Terwilliger Hot Springs

    • French Pete Trailhead

    • Echo Boat Launch

    • Bruckart Boat Launch

    • Saddle Dam Boat Launch

    • O'Leary/Castle Rock Trailhead

    • Kings Castle Trailhead

    • Olallie North Trailhead

    • Lower section of the McKenzie River Trail (where it crosses Rd 2654 – Deer Creek Road to the southern terminus) and associated trailheads

    • Frissell Boat Launch

    • Paradise Boat Launch

    • Big Lake Road, Ray Benson Sno-Park, and portions of the Santiam Pass OHV Area

    • Pacific Crest Trail – Santiam Pass Trailhead

    • Pacific Crest Trail north of Highway 20

    Sweet Home Ranger District

    • All campgrounds

    • Hackleman Old Growth Trailhead

    • Santiam Wagon Road, from west from the junction with Rd 2672

    • Iron Mountain – Deer Creek Trailhead (Iron Mountain – Civil Road TH remains open)

    • House Rock Day Use Area

    • Gordon Lakes Trailheads (all three)

    Detroit Ranger District

    • All campgrounds

    • All recreation sites

    • All wilderness areas (Opal Creek and Mt. Jefferson)

    • All trails

    • Pacific Crest Trail north of Highway 20

    * All Marion County parks in the fire zone remain closed while crews continue to work on cleanup efforts.

    * Detroit Lake is open for recreation via Mongold State Park.

    For more information on Willamette National Forest Closure Areas please visit: USDA Willamette ALERTS


    Read More
    Remaining wildfire evacuation levels lifted in Marion County
  • Oct
    14

    Commissioners approve waiving building permit fees for wildfire victims

    Posted by: Fire Information - English

    ​The Marion County Board of Commissioners today approved an order to waive Marion County building and septic permit fees for primary residences damaged or destroyed by the Sept. 2020 wildfires.

    Commissioner Colm Willis, chair, said, "We want Santiam Canyon residents to know we're rooting for you. We are with you, we support you, and we want to help you rebuild."

    The value of the waiver, approximately $2,000 dollars per 1,500 square foot home, represents an estimated $1.2 million in permit fees. There are approximately 800 Marion County homes damaged or destroyed by the wildfires; approximately 470 of which are primary homes.

    While insurance typically covers permit fees, this waiver will hopefully make more of those insurance funds available to individuals as they rebuild.

    Fee waivers will be based on fees for a dwelling of a similar sized footprint as the dwelling being repaired or replaced and apply to Marion County building and septic permit fees. The policy is effective for five years for permits that qualify between Sept. 8, 2020 and Sept. 8, 2025.

    For more information on Marion County building and septic permits, contact Marion County Public Works at 503-588-5147 or email building@co.marion.or.us

    Read More
    Commissioners approve waiving building permit fees for wildfire victims
  • Oct
    9

    FEMA External Outreach Center now open in Stayton

    Posted by: Fire Information - English

    ​A FEMA External Outreach Center opened today, Oct. 9, in Stayton to assist Oregon residents in Marion and Linn counties affected by recent wildfires and straight-line winds. There are also External Outreach Centers in Medford and Eugene.

    The center offers in-person visits, for residents to get information about their application, ask questions about letters they receive from FEMA, and have their documents scanned to be part of their application.

    Representatives from FEMA's Individual Assistance program will be available at the center.

    Hours for all FEMA External Outreach Centers are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

    Open - Oct. 9:

    FEMA External Outreach Center #3
    Stayton Community Center
    400 W. Virginia St.,
    Stayton, Oregon 97385

    Also Open:

    FEMA External Outreach Center #1
    Central High School
    815 South Oakdale Ave.
    Medford, Oregon 97501

    FEMA External Outreach Center #2
    Lane Events Center
    796 W. 13th Ave.
    Eugene, Oregon 97402

    Bilingual representatives from FEMA's Hazard Mitigation program will be available at the External Outreach Center in Medford to provide rebuilding tips, answer questions about home repair, and how to process flood insurance claims. If you cannot visit the center, you can email your questions to FEMA-R10-MIT@FEMA.DHS.GOV and a FEMA Hazard Mitigation specialist will respond to your inquiry.

    To reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread through person-to-person contact, wearing a mask or face covering will be required to gain entry and visitors will receive "no touch" temperature screenings. Hand sanitizer will be available to survivors and staff.

    Federal staff will wear masks, face shields and gloves. Workstations will be spaced six feet apart to provide an extra level of protection for survivors and staff.

    FEMA will ensure that common areas are cleaned regularly during the day and workstations are sanitized after each visitor.

    Survivors can visit any of the External Outreach Centers for in-person help, however, they do not need to visit an External Outreach Center to apply or update their application. They can apply for assistance or update an application in the following ways:

    Call FEMA toll-free at 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) or (TTY: 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. PDT, seven days a week.

    Visit DisasterAssistance.gov.

    Check FEMA's mobile app.

    Those who use a Relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their assigned number for that service. They should be aware phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number.

    Read More
    FEMA External Outreach Center now open in Stayton
  • Oct
    8

    TEMPORARY HOUSING ASSISTANCE GRANTED FOR OREGON WILDFIRE SURVIVORS

    Posted by: Fire Information - English

    News Release from Oregon Office of Emergency Management
    Posted on FlashAlert: October 8th, 2020 1:58 PM

    Oregon took a significant step forward in wildfire recovery efforts this week. A State-requested direct housing mission to help provide temporary housing for hundreds of Oregonians displaced by wildfire was granted from FEMA on Wednesday, October 7.

    The state and FEMA are finalizing the implementation plan for this mission, under which residents in Jackson, Linn and Marion Counties who lost their homes in September wildfires may be eligible. Considerations for prioritization of these three counties included factors such as immediate need and lack of available rental resources. Jackson County alone accounts for more than half of the homes lost in Oregon.

    Housing solutions in this mission are tailored to the individual needs and situations of survivors based on how quickly their homes can be repaired to a safe, sanitary and secure condition, and the availability of housing options in their communities.

    "The approval of this housing mission is an important milestone in the recovery process and provides some temporary stability to those who have undergone such disruption," said Oregon Office of Emergency Management Director Andrew Phelps. "We're grateful to FEMA for their support and continue to work directly with our state and local partners to put our plans in action."

    Direct housing assistance was requested for Douglas, Jackson, Lane, Lincoln, Linn and Marion Counties. FEMA continues to evaluate the need for temporary housing assistance in additional affected counties. The state continues to work directly with the Red Cross and other public and private partners to ensure every impacted Oregonian has a safe place to stay.

    To be eligible for direct housing assistance, Oregon wildfire survivors must register with FEMA and reside in Jackson, Linn or Marion County. Damage must be to the primary residence and must be a result of the wildfires. FEMA will reach out to individual households who are potentially eligible for direct temporary housing based on the results of their FEMA inspection.

    "We are deeply grateful to Oregon's Federal Delegation and the Federal Government for recognizing the need in Oregon," said Oregon Housing and Community Services Executive Director Margaret Salazar. "We were already facing extreme housing shortages across the state. The massive loss of housing caused by the wildfires only exacerbated this crisis. This swift action and much needed federal aid is welcome news to Oregon families impacted by the wildfires."

    Strong windstorms on September 7 ignited multiple wildfires across western Oregon and exacerbated wildfires already in progress. More than 1 million acres burned in 20 Oregon counties; some 4,100 homes were destroyed and thousands more suffered major damage. The State of Oregon requested Direct Housing Assistance to meet the needs of disaster survivors based on the high number of destroyed homes and displaced residents as well as an extreme housing shortage within highly vulnerable communities.

    Direct Housing Assistance is a program available through FEMA's Individual and Household Program (IHP). The FEMA temporary housing program provides housing for up to 18 months after a disaster declaration. Commonly, FEMA's disaster housing programs pay for rental of apartments and homes and for immediate home repairs. 

    Read More
    TEMPORARY HOUSING ASSISTANCE GRANTED FOR OREGON WILDFIRE SURVIVORS
  • Jun
    23

    County works to finalize contract with local hotel for isolation rooms

    Posted by: Health and Human Services - COVID-19

    ​Marion County Health & Human Services is working to finalize a contract with a local hotel in the Woodburn area to provide an isolated, short-term location for Marion County residents with a possible exposure or a confirmed case of COVID-19 with mild symptoms, to self-isolate when they cannot otherwise do so safely. The contract is a requirement under Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s phased reopening framework, and is intended to ensure the county is prepared to protect residents and prevent the spread of the virus as the state moves forward with reopening.

    The hotel, an 81-room facility in the Woodburn-area, was selected because it will allow guests to safely distance themselves from others while also providing access to an on-site public health nurse to provide wellness checks and monitor symptoms. The hotel has been secured to house people unable to safely isolate, including farm workers and those who are under the supervision of Marion County Parole and Probation. The typical term of stay will be 14 days to isolate and quarantine, depending on the time frame of when the individual developed symptoms or was exposed to the virus. To start, the county anticipates that 10-15 individuals will be housed in the hotel.

    The safety and security of the community are a top priority for the county. Each guest will sign a Standards of Conduct Agreement, outlining acceptable behaviors and expectations while in isolation. Security will be at the hotel 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Guests will not leave the facility during the isolation period and Marion County staff will tend to the needs of the individuals, including food and wellness checks.

    Marion County’s Public Health Director, Katrina Rothenberger, stated, “This is a required resource for many people in our community who do not have other means to protect friends, coworkers, or loved ones from COVID-19 if they have a confirmed case or have been exposed. The hotel will allow us to slow the spread of COVID-19 by giving those with no place else to go a place to safely isolate.”

    Before individuals leave the hotel, their symptoms will have been monitored for a minimum of three days by the on-site public health nurse, and transportation will be coordinated to return the individual to their community upon leaving the hotel. The county Health and Human Services Department will begin managing the facility on July 1, 2020.


    Read More
    County works to finalize contract with local hotel for isolation rooms
  • Jun
    17

    Phase 2 Reopening of Marion County to Begin on June 19

    Posted by: Health and Human Services - COVID-19

    ​On Wednesday, June 17, 2020, Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority approved Marion County to enter Phase 2 of its reopening roadmap. Starting June 19, many additional types of businesses and activities will be allowed to resume or expand operations. Commissioner Kevin Cameron said that, “This important milestone comes at a critical time of need as families struggle with unemployment, businesses work hard to recover, and farmers begin their harvests. We’re thrilled to enter Phase 2 and get public life in Marion County moving again.”

    In Phase 2, swimming pools, bowling alleys, movie theaters, and arcades can reopen. Bars and restaurants will be able to expand hours of operation to stay open until midnight. Social, civic, and faith-based gatherings can meet in larger groups. Some recreational sports can resume, including training activities within college athletic programs. Importantly, Phase 2 retains several physical distancing and sanitation measures for businesses and other activities to help limit the spread of the coronavirus as people become more active in the community.

    Marion County’s roadmap for reopening was developed in collaboration with county health experts, other local leaders, and regional public health partners. According to Commission Chair Colm Willis, “We’re proud to see that our county has successfully slowed the spread of COVID-19 to the point where we can confidently move into Phase 2. Today’s success is a testament to the hard work and resiliency of the people of Marion County.”

    Throughout reopening, anyone who feels sick should remain at home. Additionally, high-risk individuals who are over 65 years of age or suffering from chronic illnesses should continue to remain home as much as possible. We encourage all individuals to continue to follow physical distancing guidelines. All businesses, organizations, and activities that choose to reopen should follow state guidelines, many of which are available by specific sector and type of activity. Face coverings are strongly recommended for all individuals and are required for employees in many businesses.

    Guidance for businesses and other information is available on the county’s website: COVID-19.MCHealthy.net.




    Read More
    Phase 2 Reopening of Marion County to Begin on June 19
  • Jun
    17

    Bat Tests Positive for Rabies in Marion County

    Posted by: Health and Human Services

    ​Public health officials are warning area residents to take precautions after a rabid bat was found in the Stayton area of Marion County, Oregon. 

    A dog with a current rabies vaccine owned by a resident of the Stayton area was bitten by a bat on June 12, 2020.  The bat was sent to Oregon State University for testing. Results confirmed the bat was positive for rabies. Based on the positive test, Marion County Public Health recommended the dog be quarantined for 45 days and given another rabies vaccine. 

    According to the Oregon Health Authority, bats are the most common carriers of rabies in this 
    state. About 8-10% of bats tested for rabies are positive every year. So far in 2020, 3 bats have tested positive for rabies in Oregon. 

    Authorities emphasize the main protection for humans is to make sure pets are vaccinated and avoid contact with stray animals and wildlife. Public health officials advise taking extreme precautions before attempting to handle a bat. If it is necessary to pick up a bat, it is best to wear heavy gloves, use a shovel, or both. 

    The public should not approach bats, wildlife, or other mammals seen exhibiting odd behavior. Sick bats may be seen flopping around on the ground or otherwise acting unusual. If you find a sick bat or other sick wildlife on your property, take children and pets indoors. If you do have an exposure (e.g., scratch or bite) from a bat, immediately clean the wound and seek medical attention. If the bat has been captured, do not crush the bat or throw it away, as intact bats can be tested for rabies, which can help avoid post-exposure rabies shots. If your pet has encountered a bat or been bitten by a wild animal, contact your veterinarian immediately or call the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at 866-968-2600. 

    In the event of bat contact such as a bite or scratch, an attempt should be made to safely capture the bat for testing for the rabies virus. Efforts should be made to collect the bat without destroying the head and the bat should be kept in a cool place. Immediately seek medical attention and report the incident to Marion County at 503-588-5346. 

    For more information about rabies, please visit the Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division website at: 
    https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/RABIES/Pages/rabies.aspx

    Information is also available on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at:  https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/index.html  


    Read More
    Bat Tests Positive for Rabies in Marion County
  • Jun
    11

    Phase 2 Reopening Deferred Another Week

    Posted by: Health and Human Services - COVID-19

    ​On Thursday, June 11, 2020, Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority determined that Marion County was not approved to enter Phase 2 of reopening on Friday, June 12. In her letter to the county, Governor Brown noted that it failed to meet two of the six criteria laid out in her guidelines for Phase 2 reopening. The county’s application will be reassessed in one week based off of data gathered in the next seven day period. 

    In response to Governor Brown’s decision, Commission Chair Colm Willis shared, “We are disappointed in the governor’s decision. The County has worked diligently with our Public Health team to ensure we are prepared for a safe Phase 2 reopening. We will continue this work and are hopeful that our application will be approved as soon as possible.” 


    Marion County’s roadmap for reopening was developed in collaboration with county health experts, local leaders, and regional public health partners. The county will continue to evaluate the data as it is available and looks forward to entering Phase 2 as soon as possible. County Commissioner Kevin Cameron said, “Of course we want to see the number of cases falling steadily, but that is an unrealistic expectation. As more businesses reopen and people are doing more activities outside their homes, some occasional increases are anticipated. With the increase in testing throughout the county, we can also expect to see an uptick in known cases. We are also working closely with farms and food processing facilities to prevent outbreaks in facilities where physical distancing is often a challenge.” 

    As the county looks toward Phase 2 of reopening, the health and safety of all Marion County residents is top of mind. This decision comes at a critical time of need as families struggle with unemployment, businesses work hard to recover, and farmers begin their harvests. County Commissioner Sam Brentano stated “I don’t agree with the decision and I think it’s time we explore all our options. “ 

    Marion County remains committed to working with the Governor’s office, the Oregon Health Authority, and local health and community partners to enter Phase 2 of reopening once state officials give their approval. 


    Read More
    Phase 2 Reopening Deferred Another Week
  • May
    20

    Limited Reopening of Marion County to Begin on May 22

    Posted by:

    ​On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority approved the Community Roadmap for a Limited Reopening of Marion County starting Friday, May 22.

    The approved plan represents a collaboration with state and county health experts, local leaders, and regional public health partners. According to Commission Chair Colm Willis, "We are proud of what our communities and public health teams have accomplished to slow the spread of COVID-19. As we have all worked together to protect public health, we have also seen businesses closed and livelihoods destroyed. Our plan encourages businesses, churches, and other organizations to move forward in a limited capacity while continuing to protect the health of our community."

    Phase 1 of the approved community roadmap allows reopening of several types of businesses and services, while keeping sanitation, physical distancing, face covering, and crowd size measures in place. Eventually, phases 2 and 3 of the plan allow for increased gathering sizes and resumption of non-essential travel, nursing home and hospital visits, and additional seating at restaurants, bars, and other venues. The county is required to remain in Phase 1 for at least 21 days, and advancement to phases 2 and 3 will be allowed only if public health monitoring indicates it is safe.

    Throughout reopening, anyone who feels sick should remain at home. Additionally, high-risk individuals who are over 65 years of age or suffering chronic illnesses should continue to remain home as much as possible. All businesses and organizations that choose to reopen should follow state guidelines, many of which are described in detail sector by sector. We encourage all individuals to continue to follow physical distancing guidelines.

    In recognition that additional restrictions and guidelines may be needed as circumstances evolve, we remain committed to working with the Governor's office, the Oregon Health Authority, and local health and community partners to monitor progress and refine the roadmap as needed.


    Read More
    Limited Reopening of Marion County to Begin on May 22
  • May
    14

    Marion County Reopening to Begin Later than Proposed

    Posted by: Health and Human Services - COVID-19

    ​On Thursday, May 14, 2020, Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority determined that Marion County's application for a limited reopening must be deferred to a later date. While many counties across Oregon will begin reopening on May 15, others, including Marion and Polk counties, will not yet reopen. Our application will be reviewed by the state again next Wednesday.

    Meanwhile, statewide and in Marion County, some stand-alone "Main Street" retail businesses, such as furniture stores, art galleries, jewelry stores, and boutiques, can reopen on May 15 if they agree to follow safety guidelines. Additionally, childcare, summer school, camps, and youth programs can reopen with specific limitations and guidelines. We also want our community to know that all county parks and boat ramps will be open for day use beginning May 15 (playgrounds will remain closed).

    In response to Governor Brown's decision, Commission Chair Colm Willis shared, "My heart goes out to all of the people who have been affected by this virus, including all of the family-owned businesses and their employees who have not had a paycheck for more than two months. We will continue to do everything we can to fight the spread of COVID-19 in our community and get the people of Marion County back to work as soon as possible."

    We remain committed to working with the Governor's office, the Oregon Health Authority, and local health and community partners. We are reviewing the information provided by the Governor's Office and are considering all of our options in moving forward toward timely reopening.


    Read More
    Marion County Reopening to Begin Later than Proposed
  • May
    6

    Commissioners Adopt Roadmap for a Limited Reopening of Marion County Beginning on May 15

    Posted by: Health and Human Services - COVID-19

    During its regular weekly board session on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, the Marion County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution for beginning to reopen businesses, restaurants, churches, and county parks. Phase 1 of the community roadmap for reopening will begin on May 15. According to Commission Chair Colm Willis, "Many people in Marion County are suffering right now. This plan ensures first and foremost, the safety of the people of Marion County and fairness for our families and small businesses."  

    Working closely with our county Health and Human Services experts, local leaders, and regional public health partners, the roadmap is based on the Governor's guidelines for reopening counties across the state. Commissioner Willis adds, "In our case, the roadmap is tailored to fit the specific needs of our communities. We have worked hard with state and regional partners to prepare a thoughtful, balanced approach to supporting a safe, strong, and thriving Marion County."

    In Phase 1, the roadmap proposes reopening several types of businesses and services, keeping in place sanitation protocols and specific limits on physical distancing, face coverings, and crowd size until public health monitoring shows it is safe to move to later phases. Hospital visits will remain prohibited at this time, as will night clubs and most large venues.

    Monitoring community health and safety is very important as the limited, phased reopening gets underway. Marion County Public Health Director Katrina Rothenberger is leading efforts to protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic and observes that, "Local hospitals have ample capacity today and much more so than a few weeks ago when the virus first arrived in Oregon." She goes on to add, "As businesses and other sectors begin to reopen, we will closely track new cases of the virus and will take immediate action if we see an unacceptable increase in new cases and hospitalizations." Meanwhile, the roadmap has very specific details about what types of preventive measures are required for each type of business, venue, and activity.

    Marion County is committed to working with the Governor's office, local healthcare providers, and other community partners to update and refine the roadmap as needed.



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    Commissioners Adopt Roadmap for a Limited Reopening of Marion County Beginning on May 15
  • Dec
    20

    Construction project will bring improvements to 45th Avenue

    Posted by: Public Works

    ​SALEM OR – Marion County has contracted Carter & Company to begin construction on 45th Avenue beginning January 13, 2020. The project will be constructed in several stages and is estimated to be completed in 2021.

    The project will widen the road to accommodate bike lanes, add a turn lane at Fire Protection Way, construct missing sidewalk sections and ramps, and upgrade the stormwater system.  Once construction is complete, the road will receive an asphalt overlay from Ward Drive to Silverton Road.

    The road will remain open with flaggers directing traffic through the work area. Motorists should expect short delays and are advised to use alternate routes.  When traveling through the work area, please remain alert, follow flagger instructions and be considerate of pedestrians, bicyclists, and construction workers.

    For additional information, contact Tina Powell, Office Specialist, or Shane Ottosen Jr, Project Engineer, at 503-588-5036

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    Construction project will bring improvements to 45th Avenue
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