The Mayors throughout Lincoln County met in a conference call this morning to discuss what is going on with the increased cases of Covid-19. At noon today (3/23) the city of Newport held an emergency council meeting to discuss a proposed resolution drafted by the Lincoln County Commissioners that would close camping, hotels, motels, RV parks and short term rentals of less than 30-days to the public. There would be some exceptions for providers of essential services, or if you are lodging as part of your work, homeless families and those who may be in quarantine or need to stay due to medical reasons. It is proposed to go into affect tomorrow with non-essential people leaving by noon on Wednesday.
This request is being made to all of the cities throughout Lincoln County in hopes of offering consistency in all cities and throughout Lincoln County. The proposed resolution was sent to city leaders last night from County Council Wayne Belmont and is being discussed and reviewed by the city councils today. Tonight at 8pm there will be a meeting with city representatives and a county commissioner to discuss the proposed resolution and decide on adoption. The idea is to have consistency throughout the county by having all cities and the county to adopt the same order.
Mayors on the North coast and in Tillamook County have taken a strong stance on visitor restrictions during this time. There are inconsistencies however with who is doing what. Some areas of the north coast such as Cannon Beach are remaining open for business. Newport City Councilor Ryan Parker told the council that he has heard from the community that they want a closure of the hotels and short term vacation rentals. In a conversation between local city mayors and the Governor's office yesterday Governor Brown indicated to them she was not willing to go that far yet, she is counting on people following orders and just staying home.
Newport Mayor Dean Sawyer reported that during the mayor's meeting this morning the Waldport Mayor, Dan Cutter indicated that he is willing to go through with a motel and vrd closure even if the county and other cities do not. There are several places that have voluntarily closed such as the Salishan, a few hotels in Newport and Sweet Homes Vacation Rentals. They want to help the community. There is concern that as some of these businesses close they may not be able to come back. These businesses still have to pay business taxes, mortgage or rent and insurance.
Newport Councilor Dietmar Goebel expressed concern over the financial impacts to the cities small businesses and to the city itself. "It makes you wonder if the cure isn't worse than the disease." He added that we need to start looking at the future and how to recover from this down the road and how to rebuild after the crises. "We love our tourists and we want them to come back to our community." Newport City Manager Spencer Nebel said he noticed reduced traffic today, and wondered if the high traffic volumes seen over the weekend could have been due to the sunny weather and people coming to day trip.
Newport Councilor Cynthia Jacobi said we need to think about the health of our communities. She wondered what would happen with the next burst of nice weather. Again the meeting to discuss this proposed resolution is tonight at 8pm between Lincoln county and cities. The meeting will be live streamed. The late meeting is to accommodate existing city council meeting scheduled to take place throughout the day. This involves 8 different city entities. The idea is to look at the proposal and make any potential changes so it can be properly reviewed and possibly adopted by tonight.
Oregon Health Authority reported 30 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 191, as of 8:00 a.m. today. So far there have been 5 deaths. There are reports by the Seaside Signal that they have had a confirmed positive case in Clatsop County, however this has not been confirmed as of yet by the Oregon Health Authority.