Oregon’s Potable Water Resources Task Force Requests Community Input

Seeks to Understand Impacts of the 2020 September Wildfires on Private Drinking Water Systems

The September 2020 wildfires damaged many public and private water systems across Oregon. The Potable Water Resources Task Force, part of Oregon’s state-led wildfire recovery efforts, has launched a survey to learn how the 2020 wildfires have impacted private drinking water wells and systems that divert surface water from streams or reservoirs. This information will be used to help the state better support impacted Oregonians while also helping to inform statewide recovery efforts.

“Offering assistance to individuals impacted by the September wildfires to properly restore private water supply systems will help to provide clean drinking water and protect them from potential public health and safety hazards,” said Bryn Hudson, water policy analyst for the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD).

If you rely on a private well or surface water system for your drinking water, please take five minutes to complete the survey. Your answers will help us understand and assess damages caused by or related to the 2020 wildfires. Access the survey online at https://wildfire.oregon.gov/Pages/Drinking-Water-S…

Domestic Water Well and Surface Water Resources
OWRD has developed resources for maintaining private wells after wildfire as well as post-wildfire water right considerations. Visit the Department’s wildfire recovery web page for more information regarding post-fire water rights, well maintenance and potential funding assistance. If a water system requiring a water right needs to be rebuilt, coordination with OWRD in advance is recommended.

Free private well testing for well users in wildfire-impacted communities
Well users whose properties were affected by wildfires can receive a voucher for free well water testing. Learn more and apply for a voucher by visiting healthoregon.org/wells. Well users will find guidance about how to first assess damage, then take actions to protect their wells, and finally test their well water to confirm it is safe to drink.

The Oregon Health Authority will continue to provide testing vouchers to well owners through May 15, 2021. Well owners can select from a list of approved environmental laboratories in Oregon that will honor the vouchers for testing services. The tests will look for presence of bacteria, nitrates, arsenic, lead and chemicals that are hazardous byproducts of fire.

For general information and resources for drinking water supply recovery, visit Oregon’s Wildfire Response webpage. For information, questions, or concerns contact the Potable Water Resources Task Force at fire.info@state.or.us.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office – Emergency Management Division has scheduled an annual county-wide test of their emergency notification systems for May 7, 2021 between 11:30 am and 1:00 pm.

County Emergency Management will test all components of the Lincoln Alerts emergency notification system in preparation for seasonal wildfire conditions.  A specific focus of the systems test will be on the Lincoln Alerts mobile app (powered by Everbridge) and the functionality of receiving information back from those who received the message.

Community members can participate in the county-wide test in the following ways:

  • Pre-Test:
    • Complete a Lincoln Alerts Wellness Check (English) (Spanish) on your individual profile.
    • Opt-in and create a Lincoln Alerts profile for each member of your household if you have not already done so.
    • Update your current opt-in profiles to make sure your contact information and addresses are up to date.
    • Download the mobile app and log-in (must have a Lincoln Alerts account first).
  • During the Test:
    • Confirm the Lincoln Alerts test message on any of the devices in your profile or your residential or business landline phones.
    • Confirm the mobile app message and send back a photo through the mobile app to County Emergency Management confirming the ability to communicate to public safety officials during emergency events.
    • Monitor local media partner sites (radio, digital) during the test timeframe to confirm you received a notification through an alternative source.
  • Post Test:
    • Complete the County Emergency Management on-line participant survey to provide feedback on the test.

Governor Kate Brown Announces County Risk Level Changes (Lincoln County remains at High Risk)

With hospitalization rate leveling, 15 counties to return to High Risk effective Friday, May 7 Salem, OR—Governor Kate Brown today announced updates to county risk levels under the state’s public health framework to reduce transmission and protect Oregonians from COVID-19. With the statewide seven-day average increase for hospitalized COVID-19 positive patients dropping below 15 percent, Oregon no longer meets the statewide metrics for the Extreme Risk level.

Effective Friday, May 7, 15 counties will return to High Risk. In total, 24 counties will be at High Risk, four at Moderate Risk, and eight at Lower Risk. A complete list of counties and their risk levels is available here.

Governor Brown issued the following statement:

“Let me be clear: across the state, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are still high, and Oregon is not out of the woods yet. However, we have met the hospitalization metric established by our health experts for counties to return to High Risk. From the beginning, I have said that returning counties to the Extreme Risk level was about preserving hospital capacity and saving lives. With our statewide hospitalization rate stabilizing, our hospitals should have the capacity to continue treating patients with severe cases of COVID-19 and other serious medical conditions in the coming weeks.

“Based on today’s numbers, I am keeping my commitment to Oregonians. Beginning Friday, all counties in Extreme Risk will return to High Risk. With Oregonians continuing to get vaccinated each week, my expectation is that we will not return to Extreme Risk again for the duration of this pandemic.

“I know this will bring relief to many across the state. However, the lifting of Extreme Risk health and safety measures comes with great personal responsibility for us all. If Oregonians continue to keep up their guard, follow High Risk health and safety measures, and get vaccinated as fast as possible, we should see our COVID-19 case and hospitalization rates decline. I’d like to thank Oregonians for taking this surge seriously for the last several weeks. It’s because of you that our hospitals have not been overwhelmed.

“Today, we also received the welcome news from the Biden-Harris administration that they will be reallocating unused vaccines to the states that need them. Oregon will ask for the maximum allowed, which will help us to get shots in arms faster. Vaccinations are still our best path to protecting our loved ones, and staying on track to fully reopen our economy by the end of June.”

See original news article here.

Governor Kate Brown Provides Updates on COVID-19 in Oregon

With cases surging, Governor urges Oregonians to protect themselves and others by getting vaccinated Salem, OR—Governor Kate Brown held a press conference today to provide an update on the status of COVID-19 in Oregon. The Governor was joined by Dr. Peter Graven, Lead Data Scientist, Oregon Health & Science University; Mariana Robins, a 15-year old with long-haul COVID-19 symptoms; Dr. Dean Sidelinger, State Epidemiologist, Oregon Health Authority (OHA); and Dana Hargunani, Chief Medical Officer, OHA.

“As we are facing widespread cases, driven by new, more contagious variants, I was presented with data showing two paths Oregon could take: One in which we took no additional action and stood by while more people die from this disease, and another that required a temporary tightening of restrictions for certain counties but could save hundreds of lives and prevent as many as 450 hospitalizations over the next three weeks. As your Governor, I chose to save lives,” said Governor Brown.

“There is some good news. The same scientific modeling also shows that over the course of the next two-to-three weeks, based on current vaccination rates, we can get ahead of these variants. Following that trajectory, we should be able to lift restrictions statewide and return to a sense of normalcy no later than the end of June.

“We are asking for your help today. We know vaccinations are the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones, and they are the key to fully reopening our economy and moving forward to post-pandemic life. But it will take each and everyone one of us to do our part to get there. If you haven’t been vaccinated, please do so now — there are many available appointments statewide.”

Additional Materials
• A copy of the Governor’s prepared remarks from today’s press conference is available here.
• A copy of a Governor’s letter being sent to Extreme Risk counties and other stakeholders is available here.
• More information on vaccines is available at covidvaccine.oregon.gov.

OHSU Data
• Data and analysis from OHSU is available on their website under the section titled “OHSU COVID-19 forecast.”
• OHSU’s COVID forecast for April 30, 2021 is available here.

Newsroom article found here.

Ballots for May Special District Elections Are in the Mail + Link to Register to Vote

Oregon voters will soon begin receiving their ballots for the Tuesday, May 18, 2021 special district elections. Oregon voters will find on their ballot races for local school board, utility districts, and other special districts that provide leadership and direction on essential public services.

“There’s an intense focus on elections when we’re working to elect a President, but these local races also have a substantial impact on our everyday lives,” said Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan. “The May 18 election will determine who will sit on school boards, funding through bond measures, and representation on water, fire, and other special districts that provide critical services across the state.”

Eligible voters are all citizens over the age of 18, including those who were formerly incarcerated and/or who have received a felony conviction.

Oregonians have several options for returning ballots for the Tuesday, May 18 election. Voters can mail back their ballot using the pre-paid postage envelope that accompanies each ballot or they can return their ballots to any official drop box location throughout the state. To find the nearest official drop box location, click here and enter the address where you are registered to vote: https://sos.oregon.gov/voting/pages/drop-box-locat…

“Most Oregon voters will receive their ballots in the mail over the next week. Be on the lookout for your ballot and information from your county elections office,” Secretary Fagan added. “All elections matter. This is your opportunity to have a say in the future of your communities.”

Voters with questions about their ballot should contact their county elections office. A complete list can be found at oregonvotes.gov/counties.

Lincoln County Digital Voter’s Pamphlet

Register to Vote

Original State of Oregon Newsroom article

Governor Kate Brown Extends State of Emergency Amid COVID-19 Surge in Cases, Hospitalizations

Governor Kate Brown today extended her declaration of a state of emergency for COVID-19 for 60 days, until June 28, 2021, unless earlier rescinded or extended.

The declaration is the legal underpinning for the Governor’s COVID-19 executive orders and the Oregon Health Authority’s health and safety guidance; it also provides additional flexibility for the state and private parties responding to the challenges of the pandemic, from allowing restaurants to offer cocktails-to-go to allowing greater flexibility in who may administer vaccines. Extending the state of emergency also helps ensure Oregon is able to fully utilize available federal COVID-19 relief and assistance, including assistance with vaccine distribution.

The Governor issued the following statement:

“We are in the middle of the fourth surge of COVID-19 in Oregon, driven by more contagious variants of the disease. We must stop hospitalizations from spiking, so we can save lives, help our nurses and doctors weather this surge, and ensure no Oregonian is denied vital health care. Tomorrow, 15 counties are moving to the Extreme Risk Level, with nine more in High Risk. Hospitalizations nearly doubled in the last two weeks, to well over 300.

“At this time last year, there was so much we did not know about how to stop the spread of this deadly disease. Now, more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Oregonians know the best ways to avoid spreading infection: limiting gatherings when cases are high, wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distance, staying home when sick, and––most importantly––getting vaccinated as soon as possible. We just have to hold on for a few weeks longer.

“I intend to fully reopen our economy by the end of June, and the day is approaching when my emergency orders can eventually be lifted. How quickly we get there is up to each and every one of us doing our part. Over 1.7 million Oregonians have received at least one dose of vaccine, and over 1.2 million are fully vaccinated against this deadly disease.

“But the overwhelming majority of our new COVID-19 cases are from people who have not yet been vaccinated. Younger, unvaccinated Oregonians are now showing up in our hospitals with severe cases of COVID-19. Right now, more than ever, as we see the path over the peak of the spring surge and down the other side, we need Oregonians to step up and take on the personal responsibility to get vaccinated. Vaccinations are the best way to protect yourself, your friends, and your loved ones. They are also the quickest path toward lifting restrictions.

“Today, I am lifting Oregon’s executive order for price gouging related to the pandemic, because the days of hand sanitizer and, yes, toilet paper scarcity are far behind us. In the weeks to come, as the number of fully vaccinated Oregonians continues to grow, we will be able to lift the emergency orders and state regulations that have kept us safe for the past year.”

The Governor reviews and reevaluates each of her emergency orders every 60 days, to determine whether those orders should be continued, modified, or rescinded. The findings of this review process are listed in the executive order.

Original news release found here.

Reminder: Ban on Plastic Foam Food Containers Went into Effect April 13

On April 13th, 2020, Lincoln City’s City Council adopted ordinance 2020-09 declaring foam polystyrene (Styrofoam) plastic food and other containers a public nuisance. The use of these containers has been prohibited.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the effective date of the ordinance was delayed by a year. This was done to give restaurants time to shift to environmentally friendly containers.

We have now passed the end of the one-year postponement. The ban on foam polystyrene containers went into effect on April 13th, 2021.

Grace Period

In order to give businesses additional time to use up existing foam container stock, enforcement of the plastic foam food container ban will be delayed by an additional 90 days.

After July 13th, 2021, the ban on foam polystyrene food containers will be enforced. Violations will be Class C misdemeanors that include fines.

Thank You for Your Help

Styrofoam is a major source of ocean pollution. It breaks down into microplastic pieces that literally take thousands of years to fully decompose.

Your assistance in helping to remove this source of pollution from Lincoln City is greatly appreciated.

Thank you for making Lincoln City cleaner, greener and safer for everyone.