Newport Galvanizes Resources Against Pandemic

Mar 26, 2020

More and more Oregon communities are stepping up efforts to curb COVID-19, and prepare for more cases.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, that includes Newport, one of the larger coastal cities.

Newport Harbor, 2017.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Mayor Dean Sawyer says a recent order has limited short-term stays at hotels, RV parks, and vacation rentals through April. Tourism crowd control aside, he says they’re also assessing healthcare facilities and testing capacity across Newport and Lincoln County.

“We just built a brand new hospital actually, it’s very nice.  But it’s mainly designed for more out-patient work… has a bed capacity of 25," Sawyer tells KLCC. 

"And during the summer we’ll have 30,000 people in town. That capacity is kinda problematic.

"Samaritan (Health Service) did establish a drive-through clinic in Depoe Bay, Monday. And people have been going there, but they can only go there with a doctor’s prescription.”

Sawyer adds that Rogue Brewery has been making hand sanitizer for hospitals, and the Newport Police and Fire Departments. While he’s proud of his constituents observing COVID-19 protocols, he’s hopeful that local businesses will rebound once the pandemic ends.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.