Summary of the April 9, 2020 Leadership Response Team Conference Call
Submitted by: Mark Donnell, Chelan Fire & Rescue
Kent Sisson, Chelan-Douglas Regional EOC: Kent restated continued frustration from inability to obtain PPE (personal protective equipment) through the State due to changing guidelines and lack of coordination. Chelan county did receive needed ventilators and were able to return 40 back to the state due to lower-than-expected patient counts. Kent stated that he believed our latest PPE order might bring in some needed PPE but that long-term care facilities have been moved into the Tier 1 category which will impact the EOC’s ability to distribute surgical masks which are in low supply numbers.
Kent stated that the Sheriff’s Office was working with property owners regarding the recent declaration from the Chelan County Commissioners regarding vacation rentals and using education strategies before implementing enforcement.
Kent reinforced the need for the community to keep our focus on social distancing and the need for all essential services to focus on those infection control measures as it appears to be having a positive effect in controlling this current outbreak.
Barry Kling, Chelan-Douglas Health District: Answered questions regarding the number of patients testing positive in the Chelan/Manson area and referred to current information posted on the Chelan-Douglas Health District website: https://cdhd.wa.gov/covid-19/#case-count.
Barry was also asked about the drive-through testing process in place at Confluence Health and whether or not patients tested were given instructions about self-isolation until test results were returned. He was able to get an answer from Confluence during the conference call and it was affirmed that patient instructions were being given for those being tested.
Barry also offered to work with Kristi Morris form Columbia Valley Community Health to reach out to the Okanogan County Health District to assist in infection control measures to packing facilities in Okanogan County.
Barry reiterated that even with all of the news coming from Washington State that we may be at or near the top of the infection curve, it is extremely important to keep our social distancing processes in place for our area, as the eastern part of the state is about 1 to 2 weeks behind the curve for the Puget Sound. We need to keep sending the message out to our community about staying home, maintaining social distancing, and practicing effective infection control as these things appear to be working.
Chris Foreman, Chelan County Sheriff’s Office: Reiterated that patrol officers are working more towards educating the public regarding essential businesses and the vacation rental declaration rather than enforcement. Chelan County Sheriff has a dedicated number 509-667-6985 for the community to report violators with one deputy assigned to this task
Kristi Morris, Columbia Valley Community Health: Stated that they currently have 5 patients who have tested positive and 9 patients with results pending.
Kari Grover-Weir, USFS: USFS is starting to staff up for the upcoming fire season while working within the confinements mandated with social distancing. Mike Asher (CCFD #8 – Entiat) inquired whether or not the USFS was moving towards an earlier implementation of the seasonal burn ban similar to those released today by DNR. No decision is in place at this time.
Mike Steele, Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce: Gave updates from the business community in regards to unemployment benefits and the business community grant program. Currently over 200 businesses in Chelan County have applied with participation from business owners in the Chelan and Manson communities. Mike also stated that many in the business community are concerned about the recovery of business in our area and the possibility of what social distancing might need to be implemented when this current situation is over.
Mike gave an update on residential construction being an essential service and what the definition and guidelines for this would look like. There are a number of municipalities and counties looking at reviewing this issue and making recommendations for changing the current designation.
Mike also recommended adding the CEO from Chelan Fruit to the Leadership Response Team as a resource for working with the growers in the area, for purposes of educating and enforcing social distancing and infection control measures to safeguard worker health.
Debbie Conwell, Manson Chamber of Commerce: Gave a brief update on the community support program for Manson.
Bob Goedde, City of Chelan: City of Chelan and its citizens must follow this directive the Chelan County Declaration on short term rentals as we are in Chelan County and fall under their jurisdiction on this issue. The city is also seeking clarification on owners of second homes and where to shelter in place. There have been concerns from the community that people who own second homes are travelling back and forth and not sheltering in place as is the intent of the current stay-at-home policy
Mike Asher, Chelan County Fire District 8 (Entiat): CCFD # 8 has sufficient stock of PPE to handle current call volumes. Is concerned about the impact that current social distancing will have on partner agencies’ ability to respond for a potential busier-than-normal fire season. Fire Chief Mark Donnell spoke to the conversation he had with Bob Plumb (Chelan County Fire Marshal) about the possibility of starting the burn ban earlier this year (May 1st). Mr. Plumb indicated that he was working with the county commissioners and fire chiefs in coordination with the County Director of Community Development to put this in place.
Brandon Asher, Chelan Fire & Rescue: Updated team on recently implemented infection control measures put in place at Station 71. PPE stock is sufficient although disposable gowns and surgical masks are at critical lows. EMS call numbers for March are down but CF&R has had 19 fire or fire-related events since March 1st. All predictions are that we will be experiencing a busier-than-normal fire season.