Lincoln County Health Seeks To Translate COVID-19 Information

Jun 12, 2020

Officials in Lincoln County are working to get a handle on an outbreak of COVID-19 that started at a seafood processing plant and is spreading through community transmission.

Yaquina Bay in Newport.
Credit Rachael McDonald

Friday, Oregon Health Authority announced 14 new and presumptive cases, bringing the total to 184 in the county. The OHA has sent contact tracers to help Lincoln County Health track infections. Some of the positive cases are juveniles.

“We’ve had young children, teenage children, that have been positive because this virus doesn’t care how old you are.And it is spread easily among family members in the same home.”

Susan Trachsel is with Lincoln County Health. She said they’re trying to reach people in the community who who speak Spanish, a Guatemalan language called Mam.

“We’ve been working to get the information out through our community services agencies, though our churches, where our people are at.” Said Trachsel, “Some of these languages aren’t written, so we have to do this outreach verbally.”

The message is to stay home if you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19. To quarantine and contact a doctor if experiencing symptoms. Trachsel said the county is connecting people with food and bill paying assistance.

Coastal Lincoln County is now home to the largest workplace outbreak of COVID-19 in Oregon. This while neighboring counties enter phase 2 of re-opening. Lincoln County Commissioner Claire Hall says the board decided last week not to apply to the Governor for phase 2, and that was before they knew of the outbreak at Pacific Seafood.

Lincoln County Commissioner Claire Hall models a face mask in a PSA video.
Credit Lincoln County video screenshot

“I hope a lot of people will treat this as a major wakeup call and understand that we’re not out of the woods on this yet.” Hall said. “The sad but true reality I think is that we’re still in the first stage of it.”

Hall said she’s observed only about a third of people wearing face coverings in public, despite public health recommendations to do so.

Lincoln County Public Health is distributing free K-95 masks Saturday in every city in the county.

List of Distribution sites:

North - Otis -  Otis Fire Station 381 N Old Scenic Hwy 101 - Saturday, June 13th 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

North - Lincoln City - St. Claire Fire Station 4520 SE Hwy 101 - Saturday, June 13th 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

North - Gleneden Beach - Gleneden Beach Fire Station - 6445 Gleneden Beach Loop - Saturday, June 13th 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Central - Newport - Newport Middle School - 825 NE 7th Street - Saturday, June 13th 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Central - South Beach - Aquarium Overflow Parking on Ferry Slip Road - Saturday, June 13th 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

South - Waldport - Central Coast Fire Station - 145 NW Alsea Hwy - Saturday, June 13th 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

South - Yachats - Yachats Community Presbyterian Church - 360 W 7th Street - Saturday, June 13th 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

East - Toledo - Toledo Fire Station - 285 NE Burgess Road - Saturday, June 13th 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

East - Siletz - Siletz Fire Station - 149 W Buford Ave - Saturday, June 13th - 11:00 am - 2:00 pm