Today, a letter on a local online news site by a concerned citizen from Seal Rock drew my attention to an urgent concern for all of us on the Oregon coast, especially Lincoln County. I am writing to lend my voice to this issue.
We have an entire community of seniors and people with disabilities who have retired on the Oregon coast for safety. We have a tiny rural health system that cannot support an influx of spring breakers bringing COVID-19 with them. Last I knew, we did not even have a pediatric emergency system here. Children needing advanced care must go to Corvallis or OHSU in Portland, where contagion is already a real problem.
Please work with our community leaders to figure out how to limit the number and daily contacts/activities of people coming here for spring break next week, even if it means more severe controls on accommodations.
With all city and county offices, and most tourism, shuttered, we have no way to keep the peace here with our tiny law enforcement footprint, should the situation get out of hand. Nor does our community have enough supplies stockpiled to provide for these tourists if they fall sick here — or refuse to leave, or join our growing homeless population or worse, end up in our jail system.
Thanks for listening.
Patti and Vitaly Murphy