From Lincoln County Commissioner Claire Hall on partially re-opening Lincoln County
We just finished our joint meeting and most lodging in the county will open June 1, although Newport and Waldport are going with May 23, and the Depoe Bay council did not reach a decision today.
Although the draft proposal called for a temporary cap of six maximum in vacation rentals, that did not win majority support and whatever the existing license limit is will prevail. During phase one, all hotels/motels/VRDs will be required to keep a unit vacant for a minimum of 24 hours between stays. That requirement ends when the state allows us to move to Phase Two.
I can only speak for myself, but I didn’t reach this decision lightly. I know that with local people circulating in the community more, and more visitors coming in, we will see an increase in cases of the virus. So how did I get to this place?
After a lot of internal back-and-forth, I finally decided we’ve taken the hit and been really successful in flattening the curve, buying us precious time to be better prepared. I heard a public radio interview with the author of a book about the 1918 flu epidemic say this was never about stopping the virus—it’s impossible to do that at this point, given the lack of an accepted course of treatment and the lack of a vaccine. It was about slowing its spread, and we accomplished that.
I would feel much better about this if we had better prepared for this as a country when we had the opportunity a month ago. I would feel much better if we didn’t see people getting shot, spat on or pushed into water, simply because they were asked to put on a mask and/or follow distancing guidelines. I would feel better if we didn’t have so many people declaring they will never wear a mask and that 83,000 dead is still somehow a hoax. Respecting science is not fear. Respecting others is not fear. It’s basic human decency.
I respect the people who are feeling like they’re starting at financial disaster. I respect the people who are fearful/resigned/angry that they will be essentially sentenced to house arrest for months due to their age and/or health concerns.
Thanks for all your feedback and especially to those who acknowledged that this was a difficult balancing of interests for all of us involved in this decision.