Coronavirus News at a Glance

  • Fri Mar 13th, 2020 3:57pm
  • News

Timberland Regional Libraries closed through at least April 6

Timberland Regional Library locations closed at the end of business Friday and will remain closed through at least Monday, April 6, according to a statement released Friday.

Friday was the first day of “limited use” prompted by COVID-19 concerns. Friday, the decision was made to close all library facilities to the public for the health and safety of patrons and library staff.

Updates will be posted as necessary on the Timberland Regional Library Facebook page.

Stafford Creek, other prisons, suspend visitations

The state Department of Corrections has suspended visitations at all correctional facilities in the state effective immediately.

This decision will impact families in Grays Harbor, where Stafford Creek Corrections Center had planned its Spring Carnival for Saturday, an event where prisoners can interact with their children ages 17 and younger. That event is now canceled.

A spokesperson said that, as of now, events in April, including Local Family Council on April 10 and Family Fun Night Bingo on April 17 are canceled as well.

In a release Thursday night, the DOC said it was taking the following steps:

• Suspending visitation at all correctional facilities in Washington, including extended family visits (EFV). Corrections has authorized reimbursement for families scheduled for EFVs;

• Restricting access for all individuals, with the exception of employees/contract staff and legal professionals, to the Monroe Correctional Complex, Washington Corrections Center and Washington Corrections Center for Women; and

• Suspending all tours and events involving four or more outside guests at all facilities.

Officials also are working to “implement enhanced screening protocols,” including health screening, of its staff and people entereing DOC facilities.

On Friday, the DOC announced that an employee of the Monroe Correctional Complex tested positive for coronavirus.

GH Community Foundation outreach

The Grays Harbor Community Foundation said on Friday that it is ready to provide resources to local non-profits and school districts “as needs arise” due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“We have a community emergency fund at the foundation for situations like this,” said Eric Potts, executive director of the foundation.

As the area school districts were meeting with Public Health Friday morning, Potts said the foundation is waiting to hear what the districts need so they can help.

“It’s really a wait and see, what’s determined with Public Health and our school districts and what role we could play,” he said.

“Grays Harbor Community Foundation recognizes that COVID-19 and the necessary public health measures to address it are disrupting the normal operations of nonprofits and community service providers in Grays Harbor County,” the foundation said in a release.

“GHCF is committed to supporting a thriving Grays Harbor County during this time by providing resources to our local nonprofits and school districts as needs arise. If you are a nonprofit and are experiencing hardships due to COVID-19 please reach out to us directly for ways we can help.”

For more information call (360) 532-1600 or email jessica@gh-cf.org.

Email scammers taking advantage of coronavirus concerns

Scam emails related to the coronavirus are showing up in local inboxes, warns Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers.

He posted on the department’s Facebook page a notice from the health section of the federal Cyber Security Coordination Center regarding a computer virus threat on what appears to be a legitimate informational website.

“With the concern over a virus which can make people sick, we have sick people trying to introduce a virus to take your money. Nice,” said Myers.

“Remember, this is ONE EXAMPLE of a website designed by criminals to take advantage of you by exploiting fear and concern,” said Myers’ post. “In this case, clicking on this website can introduce a computer virus to compromise your computer in order to steal your personal information.”

Myers said to stick with trusted sources for coronavirus updates, locally, the Grays Harbor County Health Department website. There you will see frequently asked questions and links to state and national informational sources, including the Centers for Disease Control. The national site has frequently updated information.

“Please do not allow criminals to exploit fear as we deal with COVID-19 concerns and precautions,” said Myers.

PUD closes lobbies

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Grays Harbor PUD has announced that it will close its customer service and Energy Services lobby to public access, effective Monday. The utility will maintain regular staffing and hours with customer service being provided though the drive thru window, telephone communications and online and mobile device access.

Beginning Monday, customers wishing to speak to a customer service representative or to pay their utility bill will have the following options:

• Calling the Customer Service Department at (360) 532-4220 during regular business hours, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5.p.m.

• Making the payment through the drive-through window, located on the east side of the PUD’s Sumner Avenue building.

• Dropping payments in the payment drop box located in the main parking lot of the Administration Building

• Making payments online at www.ghpud.org or using the SmartHub app on mobile devices

Customers wishing to speak with the Energy Services Department or learn more about offers through the department may do so by calling (360) 538-6383 or by clicking on the “Energy Savings” icon at www.ghpud.org.

Customers wishing to speak to the Engineering Department may call 360- 538-6524 to be connected to a customer service engineer.

Utility operations crews will continue field work and respond to power outages and will continue to make power restorations in the safest and quickest manner possible.

Hospital limited visitation policy

Grays Harbor Community Hospital has implemented enhanced visitation rules in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

No visitors will be allowed to the hospital unless they meet one of the exceptions below:

• 1 support person per OB patient.

• Any patient on comfort care (end of life) can have 1 visitor at a time. Each visitor has to go through the Emergency Room to be screened prior to visiting.

• 1 decision maker with power of attorney or appointed by the court.

• Drivers for day surgery patients will be required to give a phone number we can call to have the patient picked up. They will be asked to wait outside the building for the call.

• No visitors under 18 years old.

• No visitors allowed in the critical care unit at this time.

• Any patient who is being tested for COVID-19 and is in isolation will not be allowed visitors.

“We recognize that this is going to be upsetting to some in the community, but steps like this are necessary to minimize the transference of coronavirus to patients, staff, and the community,” read the hospital statement, released Thursday. “Our ultimate goal is to keep transmission of the virus as low as possible and to keep mortality rates in our community as close to zero as possible. This is best accomplished with your help and understanding.”

If you have questions about visitation call 360-537-5100.

Cosi cancels council meeting, limits access to City Hall

The City of Cosmopolis has canceled its scheduled March 18 City Council meeting and is limiting access to City Hall “to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus,” read a statement from Mayor Kyle Pauley Friday.

“Beginning immediately and until further notice, access to the interior of City Hall will be limited in order to maintain social distancing recommendations,” said Pauley. “All staff-to-citizen contact will be made through the payment window and the front door of City Hall will be closed to the public.”

Visitors with accessibility needs will be addressed on a case-to-case basis.

“We also ask that residents do not go to the city shop and to call City Hall at 360-532-9230 with any customer service questions,” said Pauley. “​Utility payments should be made through ​CosmopolisWA.gov​.”

The March 18 council meeting is canceled “due to lack of imminent needs,” and if agenda items come up prior to the regularly scheduled April meeting, Pauley said a special meeting will be called.

 

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