The Klamath County Board of Commissioners sent a letter to Governor Kate Brown’s office Friday requesting Klamath County be approved to move into phase two of reopening by June 5.
Although the state hasn’t yet announced what phase two will look like, its website states that phase two may allow for gatherings up to 100 people with distancing, as well as limited visitation to nursing homes.
In the letter, the commissioners assure the governor’s office of the county’s sufficient PPE levels, timely contact tracing capabilities, testing capacity in outlying communities in the county and ability to handle a surge with a team of 10 Klamath County Public Health staff ready in the event of a surge.
The letter addresses the three new COVID-19 cases announced in the county Friday, stating, “We recognize that the addition of three new cases this week skews our trend number for the last 7 days, however, based on our robust tracing program, our extensive testing ability, and our extensive medical capacity, we can mitigate any concerns related to not meeting that criteria.”
The county hadn’t reported any new cases since May 12, however the letter states KCPH anticipated new cases with increased testing.
Friday’s new cases brings Klamath County’s total cases to 44, with 36 of those recovered.
Klamath County entered phase one on May 15, and counties were allowed to apply for phase two after 14 days in phase one. Counties must be in phase one for 21 days, however, before they can move into phase two.
The letter notes the county being home to Kingsley Field and the relationship with the National Guard that affords the area in case of a surge of cases.
The governor requires counties to meet benchmarks to enter phase two, which includes timely contact tracing, successful tracing, no five percent or more increase in cases and no increase in positive results as a percentage of testing.
“We look forward to continuing to work with you to ensure our community is safe and begins to recover economically. We stand ready to serve our citizens and the State,” the county’s letter states. “Again, we respectfully request moving into phase II on June 5th or earlier, our community is ready.”