November 18th, 2020

The Board of Klamath County Commissioners voice concerns; new state COVID-19 regulations and the 2 week “freeze” will be too much for already struggling businesses to bear.

“This statewide approach does not fit Klamath County.  We have a robust health care system, and we are confident the relationships in this community would ensure our health care professionals, and public health,  would work together to decide what our community needs without the state’s interference. We do not need a top down approach from the State; we believe we can navigate this challenging issue locally.” said Commissioner Kelley Minty Morris.


 Citizens have spoken clearly, this is causing impacts that cannot be ignored, increases in suicide, domestic violence and substance abuse, these are real consequences of shut downs” said Commissioner Donnie Boyd.

“We have a real fear businesses that close may never re-open, it’s already been the case for more than 2 dozen businesses in this county. Another shut down could increase the number of unemployed right before the holidays” said Commissioner Derrick DeGroot.

“The Sheriff’s Office will not be enforcing distancing, gathering, or masking restrictions. I have informed the local paper and that decision has been shared on other media platforms. It is the decision I made in the spring and remains consistent even though the governor indicated she is enlisting local law enforcement this time. The Sheriff’s Office is busy responding to calls for service of greater public safety concern” said Sheriff Chris Kaber in an email to a constituent.

“This virus is real, we are not minimizing that, we believe we can be nimble and flexible in a local response that’s appropriate for our community. Meantime, we ask our community to continue doing the common sense safety measures the CDC and Public Health have been recommending for months” said Commissioner Morris.

“County employees are here to serve the citizens, we have taken precautions to keep employees and citizens safe, as such County Offices will remain open.” said Commissioner Boyd.

Leaders chosen by Oregonians to represent their best interests and be their advocates, throughout and across our beautiful state, have written a letter and are asking the Governor and Governor’s office to meet and work with them to assess proposals, plans and consider different options. See Letter HERE.

Businesses can contact East Cascades Worksource for questions about business assistance at stefanie@ecworks.org and 541-904-5012

Affected Employees can get information at https://unemployment.oregon.gov/frequently-asked-questions#faqTopic-113980

Additionally, the Governor has announced an additional 55 million dollars in relief to businesses in the state, information about how funds will be disbursed locally will be coming soon.