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The ongoing Covid-19 situation has had adverse effects around the world, and Klickitat County is no exception. While hundreds of miles away from one of two epicenters of the outbreak within U.S. borders, community members are seeing firsthand the potential for catastrophe. With four cases confirmed in the County, and schools, restaurants, and other establishments the state deemed “non-essential” closed for the time being, the area has seen mass layoffs of employees, particularly in the food service industry. Restaurant owners are working skeleton crews after being limited to providing only delivery and take-out options.
As agencies organize themselves and adapt to the situation, officials have warned that people may experience longer-than-normal wait times to access services.
Below we have compiled a resource guide for people affected by coronavirus. As these are unprecedented times and news is moving faster every day, we have included links to websites where information will be updated as it arrives. Find this article on our website at whitesalmonenterprise.com for easy access to resources.
The state has released a website dedicated to compiling information related to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Visit here at coronavirus.wa.gov.
The website offers information on state actions, what’s open and closed, and what to know about the disease. The Centers for Disease Control also maintain an excellent website on the topic at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
Reading this from across the river? At https://www.oregon.gov/omb/Topics-of-Interest/Pages/COVID-19.aspx you will find resources for Oregon residents specifically.
WorkSource offices are closed to in-person customer service and business, and the offices will be providing virtual service options for the time being.
Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee, along with officials from the Employment Security Division, announced last week an expanded set of policies designed to expand the unemployment insurance program to workers and businesses, such as when an employee experiences symptoms of COVID-19.
The state also waived the one-week waiting period to receive unemployment insurance. The order is retroactive for claims filed up to March 8, the week of the governor’s first emergency rule expanding unemployment insurance criteria to include more workers impacted by COVID-19.
For more information, visit https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19
MT. ADAMS TRANSPORTATION/DIAL-A-RIDE
Klickitat County Senior Services Director Sharon Carter announced on Saturday that effective Monday Mar. 23, Klickitat County Senior Services/Mt. Adams Transportation Service will be suspending the fixed route transit shuttles between Goldendale and The Dalles and White Salmon/Bingen and Hood River through April 24. Administrative offices have closed its doors to the public but can still be reached by telephone to connect people to services and support.
“We are attempting to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and our agency has experienced direct impact in which we do not have sufficient staff to operate our full services,” Carter wrote in a press release.
The agency will continue to provide home delivered meals throughout Klickitat County as they able with staff and volunteers, Carter said.
DEPARTMENT FOR SENIOR AND HEALTH SERVICES
Starting Friday March 20, the White Salmon Community Services Office will limit it in-person services to a few items:
- Supplying WorkFirst vouchers for support services (pre-arranged with WorkFirst case manager)
- Providing gas cards (pre-arranged)
- Issuing initial EBT cards for new food assistance applications or emergency replacements
- Receiving paperwork (via drop boxes at CSO) such as verification submissions, report changes or applications for review
The full scope of Community Services Offices currently available by phone at 1-877-501-2233.
The Department of Social and Human Services is also banning most visitors from access to its 24/7 in-care facilities, starting Mar. 17.
Visitors permitted will be asked if they have had a fever, cough, shortness of breath, contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or if they have traveled internationally within the past two weeks. They will have their temperature taken. If they are running a temperature or answer yes to any of the questions, they will not be allowed to enter the facility.
Effective Thursday, March 19, Disability Determination Services and Child Support services will be available online or telephonically only.
To learn more about DSHS’s role to play in the Covid-19 situation, visit the website at https://www.dshs.wa.gov/alert/covid-19-information.
Washington Gorge Action Programs
According to Director Leslie Naramore, WAGAP offices closed its doors on March __. The organization also shuttered the Community Youth Center for the time being. Naramore said they are evaluating how to move forward on a weekly basis.
WAGAP services are still available for access but the organization is asking people call in to conduct any business.
The food bank is still open to the public, but with some new guidelines: “We are asking that clients check in at the door and then wait in their vehicles or outside if they’re on foot. They are brought in one at a time to receive assistance, Naramore said. “Our Bingen and Stevenson branches are open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00-12:00 and then 1:00-3:30. Our Goldendale branch is open the same hours but Mondays only. Anyone can come in to receive assistance.”
Give them a call at (509) 493-2662.
MT ADAMS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Executive Director Tammara Tippel said she has been working to update a list of resources and is welcome of any details from the community that need to be shared. Specifically she has called for business owners to send in updated business hours, specials as well as information on precautions and closures. You can access the link here: https://www.mtadamschamber.com/info-resources.
On the website you’ll find further information on small business loans s well as other resources for business owners impacted by the Covid-19 situation, and updates on food and drink and recreation.
KLICKITAT COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
- All clients will be screened by phone when the appointment is confirmed. You must complete screening prior to appointment.
- If possible, only the client should enter the clinic, no support persons or children. If others must attend, they will need to complete screening questions at the same time as the client.
- The majority of appointments can be done via phone call. Any appointments that must be done in person will complete screening questions prior to appointment.
- New clients will need to complete screening questions prior to coming to the office for their card.
Birth Certificates/Death Certificates
- Death Certificates requests need to be emailed or faxed. Staff will contact you when they are ready with instructions for pickup.
- Birth Certificates: please call the office for instructions.
- If the request is non-urgent, please mail in forms and payment and staff will mail the certificate to you.
- If the request is urgent or time sensitive, please print form at home, fill out the form and drop it off in our dropbox along with a check or cash in an envelope. Staff will call you and let you know when the certificate is available to be picked up.
- We will only be offering TDAP at this time. Please call ahead and schedule an appointment prior to coming to the office. All clients must complete screening questions prior to their appointment.
KLICKITAT COUNTY EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER
The Klickitat County Emergency Operations Center is preparing for possible future needs of residents. As several states around the nation have issued “shelter in place” orders, the team at the EOC is planning for how this may look in our county, specifically how our residents would receive groceries or medicine.
Those in the vulnerable population are being asked to stay home as much as possible to reduce the possibility of exposure to COVID19. If the need for people to stay at home due to precaution, illness, or mandate increases, the need for delivery services will be required. In order to provide this service, safety must be considered. EOC is composed of agencies from all over the county. Today we have trusted staff from Volunteer Fire Departments, Search and Rescue, Sheriff’s Posse, Private entities, and County employees. As we continue to work through this situation, we are working with our established partners to help provide a safe delivery service for those who are unable to pick up groceries or medicine. We have already reached out to our partner organizations which have all committed to working with us to provide the services within each one of our communities. We will be working with local grocers and pharmacies to work through the process. In addition, we are reaching out to religious and other community organizations for help.