The Scappoose City Council has approved a resolution to continue its State of Emergency with an amendment to the parks section of the declaration.
The council took the action Monday night, Aug. 10, following a report from Scappoose City Manager Michael Sykes.
On June 1, the City of Scappoose adopted Resolution 20-10, declaring that a State of Emergency exists within the city as a result of the COVID-19 virus and rescinded the previous emergency declaration resolution, which stipulated that a State of Emergency shall last, so long as the COVID-19 virus poses a threat to the city, or two months, whichever is less. The emergency order expired on Aug. 1.
According to a report written by Scappoose City Manager Michael Sykes to be reviewed by the Scappoose City Council, currently Columbia County has been approved for Phase 2 reopening by Governor Brown. In the report, Sykes said the county had reported 70 confirmed COVID-19 cases and no deaths as of July 29. Since the staff report was issued, Columbia County reported its first COVID-19 related death. The staff report also says that Governor Brown implemented a statewide mask order and a restriction that all indoor social gatherings are limited to 10 people or less.
While the effect of the virus has been somewhat moderate in Columbia County when compared to other areas of the state, the threat to the city still exists, particularly given the proximity to the Tri-County area, Sykes’ report reads. Oregon’s total death rate as of July 29, was 305 and many of those deaths occurred in nearby Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas Counties. Cases of COVID-19 have been increasing rapidly over the past couple of months, with no apparent slowing as a result of the warm weather that was predicted by some experts.
Sykes is recommending that the city council continue to be vigilant in its efforts to combat the contagious virus that has taken the lives of over 170,000 people across the United States. Sykes said Resolution 20-18 declares that a State of Emergency exists due to
COVID-19. The resolution would be effective until December 30, 2020, or so long as the virus poses a threat to the City of Scappoose, whichever is less.
“More importantly,” Sykes writes in the council memo, this Emergency Declaration will qualify the city for funding from state and federal relief funds.”
The City of St. Helens has continued its pandemic-related State of Emergency, for the protection of the city and to continue to qualify for the relief funding, according to St. Helens Mayor Rick Scholl.
On August 12, the Columbia County Board of Commissioners extended the Columbia County State of Emergency to Dec. 31, which had first been implemented on March 13.
The declaration gives Columbia County Public Health and the Columbia County Office of Emergency Management all resources at the state’s disposal to limit the spread of the coronavirus. It also authorizes the Columbia County Board of Commissioners to establish procedures to prepare for and carry out any activity to prevent, minimize, respond to or recover from an emergency.
The county commissioners determined that a state of emergency exists in Columbia County due to the following conditions; COVID-19 is a highly contagious and novel coronavirus for which there is no vaccine, and the public is at risk for contracting the disease. “We want to ensure the safety and protection of our most vulnerable population,” the declaration reads.
See the latest COVID-19 case numbers at thechronicleonline.com with in-depth reports about the pandemic in the Wednesday print editions of The Chronicle.