The outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus has prompted officials from both sides of the river to employ measures to halt the spread of the infection, including school closures across the state of Oregon and in King, Snohomish and Pierce Counties. Social distancing is being implemented in both states. Across the state of Oregon, a ban on gatherings of 250 people or more will be in effect until April 8; a similar ban is in effect for King, Snohomish and Pierce Counties.
Although there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Klickitat, Hood River, Wasco or Skamania Counties, organizers are still cancelling events around the Gorge area, citing concerns over the WHO-classified pandemic. Below we are keeping a running list of those cancelled events. We will continue to update as we are notified.
- Klickitat County Senior Services congregate senior meal sites in White Salmon-Goldendale-Lyle-Klickitat-Trout Lake, exercise groups, card groups, group shopping trips, etc. are suspended until further notice. The recommendation from our health authorities have been to suspend group gatherings for at least 4 weeks. According to Director Sharon Carter, the organization will continue to provide Home Delivered Meals and is working on some other systems for checking on seniors that we would normally see in person. “We also continue to provide multiple other services and are consulting with the Health officer and local health providers on the best way to help those in our community and also try to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus to those most vulnerable.”
- Friends of the Columbia Gorge is suspending all guided hikes and stewardship work parties scheduled for March. Executive Director Kevin Gorman noted that the organization is currently talking with partners and actively monitoring relevant federal, state, and local health guidance and will make announcements on the status for April hikes, stewardship work parties, and other events (including our planned April 19 annual meeting) as the situation evolves and the full scope of the Novel coronavirus becomes clearer.
- Friday night’s Gorge Roller Derby SOS bout at Columbia High School to support White Salmon Band Boosters has been cancelled, and hopefully postponed until plans can be finalized, according to Band Booster Jeri Jablonski.
- The Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association has announcedthat West Side Story has been cancelled for this weekend (March 13, 14, 15) and next (March 20,21,22) due to COVID-19 recommendations from our school venues, the OHA, and the great desire to protect our audience, cast, musicians, and volunteers. “We are quickly working out plans for managing the cancellation with ticket holders and will post the information soon on our website: gorgeorchestra.org,” said CGOA Secretary Fran Finney.
- Beneventi’s Silent Auction has been postponed until April 18.
- Maryhill Museum of Art has announced they will be cancelling museum programs through March 31, including a film screening and gallery talk on March 14 as well as a poetry reading on March 21. Executive Director Colleen Schafroth wrote in a press release that the museum will open for the season on March 15, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily thereafter.
- Master Gardener Community Classes scheduled for this Saturday, March 14, 1-4pm on Growing Berries and Wednesday, March 25, 6-9pm on Ornamental Herbaceous Plants have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Until at least April 30, no non-essential OSU-sponsored events of more than 50 attendees will be permitted. All events with fewer than 50 attendees will be held with maximum social distancing.
- Gorge Ecumenical Ministries’ Aging in the Gorge Event has been postponed until April 15.
- Due to concerns regarding the coronavirus, the White Salmon Valley Education Foundation and participating businesses have decided to postpone Night Out for Schools until it is safe to convene in large groups again.
- Skyline Health Foundation has postponed the Cultivate Columbia Gala honoring Chuck & Camille Hinman. A new date is being determined.
- A 6-9 p.m. class on Ornamental Herbaceous Plants, sponsored by the OSU Master Gardener Program, has been cancelled.