Marion County Health & Human Services is working to finalize a contract with a local hotel in the Woodburn area to provide an isolated, short-term location for Marion County residents with a possible exposure or a confirmed case of COVID-19 with mild symptoms, to self-isolate when they cannot otherwise do so safely. The contract is a requirement under Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s phased reopening framework, and is intended to ensure the county is prepared to protect residents and prevent the spread of the virus as the state moves forward with reopening.
The hotel, an 81-room facility in the Woodburn-area, was selected because it will allow guests to safely distance themselves from others while also providing access to an on-site public health nurse to provide wellness checks and monitor symptoms. The hotel has been secured to house people unable to safely isolate, including farm workers and those who are under the supervision of Marion County Parole and Probation. The typical term of stay will be 14 days to isolate and quarantine, depending on the time frame of when the individual developed symptoms or was exposed to the virus. To start, the county anticipates that 10-15 individuals will be housed in the hotel.
The safety and security of the community are a top priority for the county. Each guest will sign a Standards of Conduct Agreement, outlining acceptable behaviors and expectations while in isolation. Security will be at the hotel 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Guests will not leave the facility during the isolation period and Marion County staff will tend to the needs of the individuals, including food and wellness checks.
Marion County’s Public Health Director, Katrina Rothenberger, stated, “This is a required resource for many people in our community who do not have other means to protect friends, coworkers, or loved ones from COVID-19 if they have a confirmed case or have been exposed. The hotel will allow us to slow the spread of COVID-19 by giving those with no place else to go a place to safely isolate.”
Before individuals leave the hotel, their symptoms will have been monitored for a minimum of three days by the on-site public health nurse, and transportation will be coordinated to return the individual to their community upon leaving the hotel. The county Health and Human Services Department will begin managing the facility on July 1, 2020.