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COVID-19 Information

This special area on the website will be used to post updates regarding the conditions in the State of Washington, and most importantly, in the Grant County area, focusing on Desert Aire/Mattawa.  There is significant coverage on a global basis on COVID-19.  We are not attempting to place redundant information here, but we will try to collect information for easy viewing by owners, residents, and entities specifically concerned with this area.

Please stay safe, stay healthy, and help others as deemed necessary until the restrictions end, which are now in place under PHASE 2 until further notice.   

Links for direct updates are shown below:

Sign up for NIXEL to receive notices from Grant County.  Text desertaire to 888777

Links to media sources are provided here to keep up-to-date on areas close to Desert Aire, where medical services or shopping trips may be planned. 

Other links of interest are provided for resource information because of the unique circumstances and the ancillary coping mechanisms available.  

CDC - Centers for Disease Control monitors COVID-19 case reporting globally and breaks downs statistics for the United States by state.  

World Health Organization provides protective measures against COVID-19 and useful strategies and information for all to deal and cope with the current situation surrounding us

Page last updated: 8/10/20

  • 8-6-20 Governor Inslee's Latest Press Conference

    Governor Inslees press conference video can be found at this link:  https://www.tvw.org/watch/?clientID=9375922947&eventID=2020081014

  • 5-1-2020 Governor Inslees 4 Step Plan

    Inslee moves in careful phases: Other governors 'leap over' pandemic

    By Joel Connelly, Seattle PI  Updated 6:40pm PDT Friday, May 1, 2020 

    Washington state is moving toward businesses doing curbside sales and opening car washes and drive-in religious services, while states in the South and Southwest are reopening malls and hair salons and putting restaurants back in business -- albeit with reduced clientele.

    Gov. Jay Inslee is taking Washington state's novel coronavirus recovery step by step, ignoring angry protests, some of which are egged on by the President of the United States whose own guidelines say to wait until new cases of COVID-19 decline for four consecutive weeks.

    Extending the "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order to May 31, the Evergreen State appears to be heeding advice -- and caution -- delivered up on Thursday by Dr. Anthony Fauci, who said on the "Today Show,"  "You can't just leap over things and get a situation where you're tempting a rebound. That's the thing I get concerned about. I hope they don't do that."

    Trump offered very different advice after demonstrators armed with assault rifles stormed the Michigan state capitol, protesting Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's extension of the stay-home order in her state. "The Governor of Michigan should give a little, put out the fire," Trump Tweeted. "See them. Talk to them. Make a deal."

    Putting out the virus is a higher priority in the country's more sensibly governed states.

    The Fauci warning is already coming true in places reopening for business. Just before businesses reopened in Texas, the Lone Star State saw 1,033 positive tests for the coronavirus. In Iowa, where COVID-19 has hit meat packing plants, the 740 Iowans testing positive on Friday set a one-day record. Gov. Kim Reynolds is allowing restaurants, malls and fitness centers to reopen in 77 of the Hawkeye State's 99 counties.

    Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia ignored the White House guidelines -- which call for a four week decline in new cases -- to allow restaurants, hair salons and bowling alleys to reopen. The Peachtree State experienced more than 1,000 new cases on Friday, for a total of 27,270, roughly twice those of Washington, which experienced 37 of the first 50 confirmed deaths.

    As armed demonstrators carried the back-to-work cause to the Mississippi state capitol, 20 additional deaths and 397 new cases of coronavirus were causing delays in reopening. Chicken plant workers were reporting ill, while state officials denied a virus outbreak. The CEO of the state's largest poultry company chairs Gov. Reeves' task force on economic reopening.

    Who's right? Watching the protests here, and people packing heat in Lansing, is reminder of a axiom from Super Bowl-winning Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Chuck Noll. "The empty drum bangs loudest."

    The latest ABC News/Ipsos poll asked Americans whether reopening is going too slowly or too quickly. Too slow: Eight percent of Democrats, 47% of Republicans and 28% of Independents. Too quickly? Ninety-two percent of Democrats, 53% of Republicans, 72% of Independents.

    A Yahoo News/YouGov survey found almost 90% of Americans believe coronavirus would be likely if we ended the "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order today.

    Which is exactly what Inslee is warning about in his words: "We have not won this fight against this virus." Relaxing social distancing, too quickly, invites the same second act of this pandemic as was seen with the Spanish flu in 1918.

    We've heard ballyhoo about "freedom of religion," even a federal lawsuit by a Republican gubernatorial candidate challenging Inslee's policy. It appears that people will be able to go to meetings soon -- in their cars.

    But, in the sensible Northwest, religious leaders took a dim view of infecting the flock. Worship should not be lethal. Seattle Archbishop Paul Etienne, on March 11, was the first Catholic bishop in America to shut down public celebration of the mass in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A mile-and-a-half away, St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral went on livestream.

    "We do this, not out of fear, but out of love for our neighbors," Archbishop Etienne wrote in a March 24 letter urging Catholics to follow the Inslee order.

    We've seen such politicians as Rep. Pramila Jayapal bashing Amazon, but the state's business community has emerged as a resource and reservoir of common sense. Bill Gates has become a right wing media target for daring to offer prescient predictions. Microsoft has made common cause with public health agencies, collecting data about the coronavirus, and in the collection of equipment at which the Trump administration has failed us.

    Given the length of our winters, Northwest residents have learned to keep their cool. This is a prerequisite of Inslee's four phase plan. "We will have at least three weeks between phases to see whether it is working or not," he said Friday.

    Local governments can impose and reimpose rules if needed. Less populous counties can petition to move to the next phase. It'll be interesting, since old-boy political leaders in Central Washington counties have been clamoring to open things up while the COVID-19 pandemic has invaded meat packing plants and orchards.

    Not all Washington politicians have shown a capacity for science and public health.  Franklin County Commissioner Clint Didier appeared in Tacoma on Friday with Republican gubernatorial hopeful Tim Eyman.  They were filing a suit against Inslee. As reported in the Seattle Times, Didier argued against social distancing, saying people should freely circulate, adding:

    "We can take care of this virus by letting people catch it."  (The coronavirus has already killed more than 800 Washingtonians.)

    taThe pandemic has caused enormous economic hurt, and has dictated a narrow pattern to life. Stay at home, work if you can, go to the supermarket.  We are getting cabin fever and witnessing crowds of walkers in Seattle on weekends.

    We can go back outside, but camping will have to wait until phase 2. Phase 2 will bring more recreation, in-store retail shopping, pet care, and the first limited reopening of restaurants.

    Much more is open down South. But the pandemic may be open for business in much of the old Confederacy. Govs. Kemp (Georgia) and DeSantis (Florida) seem dense to the danger. Inslee sure isn't.

  • 5-5-20 DA Golf Course to Open

    We are excited to announce the course will be open for play beginning Tuesday, May 5th.  With the return to play, we'd like to remind all walkers, bikers and other non-golfers to return to other walking paths and trails for their own safety.

    It's' no surprise that there will be some changes and restrictions to follow in order for us to not only re-open, but so we can safely stay open. We thank you for your cooperation as we do our very best to keep our guests, members, staff and crew as safe as possible as we return to normal.

    Call us at the Pro Shop 509 932-4439 to book your t-times!  We've missed you and look forward to seeing you again soon!!!

    Annual Members
    Every golfer must sign in at the Pro Shop prior to play.  Absolutely no walk on play please.  We are responsible for keeping contact information for every player, every day for all of our continued health and safety.  Thank you again!!

  • 4-17-20 DACP through DSHS - Washington state

    OLYMPIA – Beginning Friday, April 17, some Washington residents can apply through the Department of Social and Health Services for emergency cash assistance to help meet their immediate needs. As a result of Governor Inslee’s emergency declaration in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has approved implementing the Disaster Cash Assistance Program, or DCAP, in Washington state.

    The Governor’s declaration of a statewide emergency and subsequent proclamation on March 18 enables DSHS to offer DCAP benefits to people who are not eligible for other cash assistance programs. The assistance is available to all Washington families and people without children who meet the income and resource limits of the program. DSHS estimates more than 175,000 households may be eligible for this assistance.

     “Having access to this emergency aid is critically important to helping people meet their immediate, basic needs, like shelter costs, utilities, clothing, minor medical care, household supplies and transportation costs for work,” explained Babs Roberts, director of DSHS’ Community Services Division. “We’re pleased Governor Inslee made these funds available so that we can extend the benefits to Washingtonians who are most in need during this unprecedented time.”

    This cash assistance is available to Washington residents regardless of citizenship status, and does not require applicants to provide a Social Security number. Eligible households will receive their DCAP benefits for one month in a 12-month period during an emergency. The benefit amount depends on household size, income and need, ranging from a maximum of $363 for a single person to a maximum of $1,121 for a household of eight or more people. Once approved, people will receive their DCAP benefits on an existing Electronic Benefit Transfer, or EBT, card or a new EBT card will be sent via U.S. Mail.

    People can apply for DCAP online at WashingtonConnection.org and then call the Customer Service Contact Center at 877-501-2233 to complete the required interview. People can also call 877-501-2233 to complete the entire application process over the phone. Due to much higher than normal call volumes, people are asked to call before 11 a.m. and to keep in mind that the busiest call times are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    This news release is also available in Spanish

    DSHS to provide disaster cash assistance for some Washingtonians beginning April 17 [News Release - Spanish] [FAQ-English ] [FAQ-Spanish  

    SALVADOR SALAZAR

    Central Washington Regional Representative| Office of Governor Jay Inslee

    Cell: 360.480.0372

    www.governor.wa.gov |salvador.salazar@gov .wa.gov

    Email communications with state employees are public records and may be subject to disclosure, pursuant to Ch. 42.56 RCW.

  • 4-17-20 DAOA Update

    An interesting quote considering everything happening around our world right now;

    “I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.” — Walt Disney

    At any rate….. there has been a few articles coming out from the White House saying that some states may be able to open up soon, before the May 1 deadline that President Trump set.

    At this time, I do not see Washington being one of those states. Grant County gained 7 new cases yesterday, Mattawa gained 5. This tells me that while we are not climbing like the West side did, we have not reached the peak for our area. What this means for us, is that we need to continue to follow the guidelines set out by the CDC, DOH, and GCHD. 

    At this time, a lot of people are starting to get cabin fever, especially as the weather is starting to warm up, and people want to be outside and enjoying the sunshine. You CAN get outside, just please remember the social distancing. We have been allowing walking and bicycling on the golf course paths but NO DOGS please. The park is open and has doggie bags available if you need. Please USE them!

    There are also a lot of people who cannot get outside, for a variety of reasons such as age, health, transportation concerns. Even getting to the store for necessary groceries can be difficult for these people.

    Grant County now has a Safety Line. This if for people who are home bound and need assistance with getting essential groceries or non-urgent health needs.

    There are two lines, one English and one Spanish. They are open Monday thru Friday from 9AM to 4PM.

    English - 509 754-1323

    Spanish - 509 754-2019

    If you are not home bound and can safely help those who are, GCHD has door hangers and post cards to allow you to connect with neighbors and assist them. It is important during these trying times that we band together as a community, wherever that community may be, to support our fellow community members and help ensure that we are all staying healthy and sane. When this is over, we will come out of it much stronger than when we started.

  • 4-8-20 Important Updates to DAOA Members

    The Yard Waste dump day for Saturday April 25th is going to be ONLY Yard Waste at the Senior Center from 9am-3pm. All other activities for the Spring Cleanup are CANCELLED.

    Warning-It has come to our attention that some clubs and their members have recently been the target of email scammers. These scammers are targeting clubs to gather information then creating a Spoofing and Phishing scheme to trick club members into paying statement balances.

    Desert Aire will never call you or email you for Credit card information during this time when we are not doing late water calls or charging interest or late fees. Please call our office if you need to make payment arrangements or if you receive a suspicious call for any association fees. (509) 932-4839

    With the official cancelation of the school year the need for garbage service may be increased. You can setup weekly service through WasteManagement by calling 877-466-4668 or for now you can haul to the Richland City landfill located near Horn Rapids at Twin Bridges road.

    The Business office is staffed regular hours but not open for public access. We are taking payments over the phone or by mailed in check or money order.

    The golf course, fitness and rental rooms are still closed until further notice.

    Here is a link to our website for more information and links

    https://www.daoa.org/hoa/covid-19

     

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    El día de Tirar Basura de Yarda para el sábado 25 de abril será SOLO Basura de Yarda en el Senior Center de 9 am a 3 pm. Todas las demás actividades para la limpieza de primavera están CANCELADAS.

    Advertencia: Nos ha llamado la atención que algunos clubs y sus miembros han sido recientemente blanco de estafadores por correo electrónico. Estos estafadores se dirigen a los clubs para obtener información y luego crean un esquema de suplantación de identidad y phishing para engañar a los miembros del club a pagar balances en su cuenta.

    Desert Aire nunca lo llamará o le mandara un correo electronico para obtener información de la tarjeta de crédito durante este tiempo cuando no estamos haciendo llamadas por falta de pago del agua o cobrando intereses o cargos por pagos atrasados. Llame a nuestra oficina si necesita hacer arreglos de pago o si recibe una llamada sospechosa por cobros de la asociación. (509) 932-4839

    Con la cancelación oficial del año escolar, la necesidad de servicio de basura puede aumentar. Puede configurar el servicio semanal a través WasteManagement llamando al 877-466-4668 o por ahora puede transportarlo al basurero de la ciudad de Richland cerca de Horn Rapids en la carretera Twin Bridges.

    La oficina administrativa tiene personal con horario regular pero no está abierto al acceso público. Aceptamos pagos por teléfono o por correo con cheque o giro postal.

    El campo de golf, el gimnasio y los salones siguen cerrados hasta nuevo aviso.

    Aquí hay un enlace a nuestro sitio de internet para obtener más información y enlaces

    https://www.daoa.org/hoa/covid-19

     

    -Aviso-

    Recientemente añadimos una herramienta en donde se puede elegir el lenguaje de la pagina de internet. Vaya a www.DAOA.org y vea todo lo relacionado a Desert Aire. También puede encontrar novedades y enlaces sobre lo que está ocurriendo con el COVID-19.

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  • 4-2-20 DAOA Update On COVID-19 Response

    At Desert Aire, the safety and well-being of our members and our employees, are at the forefront of our thoughts. We understand the concern and unrest you may be experiencing surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and believe that in these unprecedented times, it is important that we come together to support each other. 

    Steps We’re Taking
    We are actively monitoring information from federal, state, and local agencies.
    Out of an abundance of caution and concern for the health of our employees and members and in complying with the essential staff only mandate, we have closed our offices to the public and are limiting the number of staff working. 

    With mail service occasionally unreliable it may be good to have us BOTH mail and email your statements to help ensure timely delivery.


    For payments we offer the following options;

    1. ACH autopay where we email a statement on the 1st and it bank drafts on the 20th of the month or
    2. The 24-hour payment drop box available or
    3. You can call with a credit card during business hours M-F, (8-5)

    If you are facing financial difficulties we are here to help and we encourage those impacted to call us at (509) 932-4839.

    GARBAGE-with the county closure of both the local transfer station and now the Ephrata landfill we don’t have anywhere to take it. WasteManagement residential service is your only option which must be setup over the phone by calling 877-466-4668.

    The golf course is closed indefinitely and while we don’t want dogs on the course we are allowing owners to walk on the paths.

    The park and parking lot are open during the day for walking or other outdoor activities but we have taped off gathering areas including the toys and pavilion. Also the restrooms will remain locked during the stay in place order.

  • 4-2-20 Governor Extends Order to 5-4-20

    Source:  WA Emergency Management Division - Public Information Officer 

    Today, Gov. Inslee extended the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order to May 4. The governor says the fastest way to economic recovery is the recovery of our health. Stay home. Stay healthy. Save lives. The order continues to require everyone to stay at home unless they are pursuing an essential activity, like shopping for groceries, going to a doctor’s appointment or going to work at an essential business. This is unprecedented times and the sacrifice residents have made are clear. But we will get through this together. #WeGotThisWA

    All grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, food supply chains, and other things necessary for continued operations will continue to remain open. https://coronavirus.wa.gov/whats-open-an...

    Employment Security phone lines continue to be overwhelmed. Keep trying or try filing online. https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/retroactive-...

    The order means that the eviction moratorium continues. If you are having problems with a landlord, let the state know: https://fortress.wa.gov/atg/formhandler/...

    Our team at our state Emergency Operations Center has processed thousands of inquiries looking to be an essential business. If you have more questions, let them know https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/d4c155...

    There are so many businesses and people staying home and we appreciate everyone’s help. But if you see a business willfully violating the order, report suspected violators at the link. Don’t call 911. https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/09349a...

    Have questions? Visit http://coronavirus.wa.gov or call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

  • 4-2-20 CBHA Experts Share Coronavirus Information

    An Update on the Coronavirus

    By Zed Zha, MD and Jude Alsarraj, PhD, both work for Columbia Basin Health Association

    Zed Zha, MD, trained at the Mayo Clinic and Jude Alsarraj, PhD, a molecular biologist, along with other CBHA clinicians provide regular community updates at CBHA.org

    As the coronavirus spreads, people come to us as their trusted health advisors. Trained as a medical doctor and scientist, respectively, we rely on evidence-based medicine in what we do and recommend. Here are some of the common questions we hear from patients and others in the community, and research-based answers to them.

    What does “Flatten The Curve” mean, and why does that matter?

    It simply means lowering the number of people who get sick at any given time, and slowing the spread of the virus. This helps to make sure our hospitals and other facilities can accommodate whoever needs care urgently. For example if 100 people are going to get sick we would rather have this happen over 5 weeks rather than them being sick over one week or two. This way our healthcare system will be able to accommodate them all.

    So how do we flatten the curve?

    Take personal measures to the reduce your risk of getting infected. Wash your hands often, when you come home from outside, after touching surfaces, before eating.

    According to Doctor Alexander Brzezny, Health Officer for Adams and Grant counties, to flatten the curve we need to decrease close contact in Washington communities by 75%. This is something everybody can be doing by staying at home as much as possible, and keeping a safe distance of six feet or more from others. This could save thousands of lives across the country if everyone did it.

    If you know vulnerable people in your community, see if you can help them so they don’t have to go out in public, such as picking up groceries for them and delivering them to their homes.

    CDC Flatten the Curve  

    Since we’re talking about vulnerable people, how can nursing homes get prepared?

    As we know there are a lot of concerns for nursing homes, because they can become hot spots for outbreaks. This was where the first outbreak in the United States occurred.

    Viral infections spread quickly in this environment. So every nursing home has an infectious control nurse and plan. Staff and residents should be up to date on their vaccines, and staff should have daily huddles for updates.

    Another strategy is to limit residents’ trips to clinics and hospitals as much as possible, to prevent them from being exposed to another hot spot of infection. CBHA is working hard with the community in providing telehealth visits, to further reduce spreading the virus.

    Patients are getting TeleHealth visits on the phone. What does this mean? Do patients actually talk to a provider on the phone? Can we get medicine prescribed during a telehealth visit?

    Yes. Telehealth has been increasingly common in recent years, both by telephone and video visits on laptop computers, tablets, and smart phones. The country is moving rapidly toward more widespread telehealth use during this crisis. This helps keep our patients from getting exposed to possible infections in the clinic. We can also better encourage social distancing this way.

    And yes, you will be talking to a provider on the phone. They might not be your regular provider but we will try to arrange that. Our providers at CBHA are trained to evaluate patients on the phone, and if they determine that you should be treated with medicine, it can be prescribed after a phone visit. If they determine you need to come in for an office visit instead, your telehealth visit charge will be waived.

    For patients coming to the clinic, especially OB patients, how are you keeping them safe? And what about keeping providers safe?

    We’re taking every step we can to ensure the safety of our clinics, patients and providers. This includes air filtration, creating additional negative pressure areas to extract the air from higher risk locations and fresh air purging as needed. This is true for obstetrics and other patients. To be cautious, we are separating respiratory patients from others.

    -We have protocol in place to screen patients not only on the phone but also at the door. This means that by the time a patient is determined to possibly have COVID-19, they are placed in a negative pressure room and the provider team is wearing gowns, gloves, and N95 face masks.

    -We have also started to do ROBUST telehealth visits where we are advising people who might have COVID-19 but don’t meet criteria to be tested to be isolated / quarantined at home. If they need to be tested but not seen, they come to the back door to be tested in a negative pressure room or in their own car. If they sound like they need to be evaluated they are told to come to the back door and go to the negative pressure room. Before the provider sees them, providers are fully equipped with protective-wear.

    -There are strict protocols in place for disinfecting afterwards and we follow CDC’s guidelines for turning over rooms.

    -Providers and people who work in health care are on the priority list for testing if they do develop symptoms even if their symptoms are mild.

    Is it easier for pregnant women to become ill with coronavirus? Also can coronavirus be transmitted from the pregnant mom to the fetus?

    We do not currently know if pregnant women have a greater chance of getting sick from coronavirus than the general public. Pregnant women experience changes in their bodies that may increase their risk of some infections. With viruses from the same family as this coronavirus and other viral respiratory infections such as influenza women have had a higher risk of developing severe illness.

    A recent study of 38 pregnant women with COVID-19 in China found that there were no maternal deaths, no confirmed cases of intrauterine transmission of the coronavirus from mothers to their fetuses, and all neonatal specimens tested negative for coronavirus.

    It is always important for pregnant women to protect themselves from illnesses by doing the same things as the general public such as hand washing, covering your cough and avoiding people who are sick.

  • 3-30-20 Closures Of Grant PUD Recreational Facilities

    In response to state actions taken late yesterday to close all recreational fishing and public access areas across the state, Grant PUD is closing all of its recreation facilities, including its boat launches, day-use areas, and trails. Crews will be out over the next few hours placing signs and locking gates to these areas.

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