(Updated April 14, 2020, updates in bold)
In response to the increasing infection rate of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Oregon, the City of Hermiston is encouraging participation in directives issued by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Umatilla County Health Department.
In order to prevent the spread of the respiratory illness and protect the most vulnerable citizens, including the elderly and people with chronic health issues, the city has taken the following actions:
- All city facilities will limit unrestricted access beginning Monday, March 23. Staff will continue to work on-site, but residents are asked to call and make an appointment before entering a city facility. A full list of department phone numbers can be found here.
- The March 23 City Council meeting was held at the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center, 1705 E. Airport Road. The video of the meeting is available on the city's YouTube Channel. You can find the meeting agenda and packet here.
- The Hermiston Library is closed beginning Monday, March 30. Library staff will offer drive-up service until 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 28. Call 541-567-2882 for more information. The library’s collection of digital and audiobooks can be found at https://hermistonlibrary.us/, and new library accounts can be issued over the phone.
- The Hermiston Municipal Court is closed to the public for at least two weeks beginning Thursday, March 19. Court staff can be reached at 541-567-6610. All trials and court appearances will be reset and notices will be sent via mail. Online payment is still available at https://hermiston.or.us/municipal-court/home.
- Residents enrolled in the Senior/Disabled Taxi Ticket Program will be allowed to use ticket vouchers for food delivery for the duration of the statewide restaurant closure. This is to ensure some of the most vulnerable citizens can continue to access meals. The taxi program is operated by a private company, and the voucher covers the cost of transportation, not the food. Call 541-567-6055 to reserve a ride.
- People who are exhibiting cold and flu symptoms (coughing, fever, etc.) are asked to refrain from entering public facilities and may be asked to leave. City facilities will also increase cleaning protocols to ensure public areas and individual workspaces are disinfected.
- The Hermiston Senior Center has cancelled all activities until April 10. Meals-on-Wheels will continue to be delivered on Tuesdays and Thursdays before 10 a.m., and in-house meals are available by calling 541-567-3582 before 11 a.m.
- Kayak Public Transit will suspend service beginning Monday, March 23. This includes the Hermiston Area Regional Transit. The closure will last at least until March 28.
- The utilities department will discontinue non-payment shutoffs until further notice to ensure continued access to water and electricity for all residents. Bill payment and collection will continue as usual.
- Recreation programs have been postponed. See the Hermiston Parks and Recreation Facebook page for upcoming announcements or call 541-667-5018.
- City Parks and Trails will remain open to the public provided that Social Distancing standards are upheld.
- Park and picnic shelter reservation are currently unavailable.