The Curry County Sheriff’s Office is making some temporary operational changes in order to assist in stopping the possible spread of COVID-19, reported Sheriff John Ward on Tuesday, March 17.
Following is the release from his office:
Sheriff’s offices across the state have all made some changes in operations including jail intake services. We can assure you that Oregon sheriff’s and jails are doing their absolute best to implement appropriate protocols to address the threat of COVID-19. We are working with our local law enforcement partners, the courts, district attorney’s offices and public defenders to implement changes to the entire criminal justice system which will help us manage this crisis.
We are also communicating with our public health departments, the governor’s office and emergency management to ensure that we have the most current information and are implementing the latest recommended changes. Those changes include a careful evaluation of who gets booked into our facilities to limit intakes, a host of environmental precautions, and screening of staff, inmates and contractors.
Effective immediately for the duration of at least four weeks or until further advised, we have canceled all fingerprinting for outside employment purposes, to include all concealed handgun license appointments. We will continue to issue CHL renewals on a case-by-case basis. We have also closed our South County Sheriff’s Substation in Harbor to the general public. Those who may need immediate attention will need to contact the Sheriff’s Office in Gold Beach.
We have suspended inmate visitation for the time being and are not allowing any unauthorized persons beyond the secure doors past our lobby. We will still help those who come to the Sheriff’s Office lobby in need of assistance. We ask that people who come to the Sheriff’s Office for assistance make sure they are not sick or show any symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, for if they do they will be asked to leave and call in.
We regret the inconvenience of these measures we are forced to take, but the safety and security of the inmates and our staff is critical to being able to continue providing the best service possible. It does not matter about our personal beliefs regarding the reported coronavirus outbreak or how the nation is trying to combat it because we all have to do our part to help protect our citizens.
We will keep the public informed on when we can lift these restrictions. Updates regarding the coronavirus can be found on the Curry County webpage, under the COVID-19 link. Stay safe and please follow all recommended precautions by CDC, OHA and Public Health to keep yourself, friends, and your family healthy.