Fire Chief: Social Distancing is ‘Working’ in Canby, COVID Response Manageable

Social distancing is working in Canby, according to Fire Chief Jim Davis; COVID-related or suspected calls are up, but local first responders are able to handle the increased load.

Chief Davis also said he doesn’t believe now is the time to start easing the strict stay-home order currently in effect.

“We can tell you that your efforts are working as the COVID-19-related calls are happening at a rate we can manage,” the chief explained in an April 15 letter to the community that was shared with the Canby Now Podcast.

Click to access COVID-19-Letter-from-the-Chief-4.15.20-1.pdf

He believes the city and state must not begin to relax the “Stay Home, Save Lives” restrictions until the coronavirus pandemic reaches the “peak” public health officials are expecting in the next few weeks.

“The last information we received from Clackamas County projected the peak to be around the end of April or into the beginning of May,” Chief Davis said. “Again, what we are doing in Canby is working.”

Chief Davis said he agrees with Oregon Governor Kate Brown on several things that need to happen before Oregon can reopen: Slow the growth of active cases, ensure enough protective equipment is available for first responders and other workers who are more likely to be exposed, ramp up testing and make testing much more available statewide, develop a system to accurately predict areas of outbreak and implement an effective, consistent quarantine strategy for those who test positive.

The chief’s letter reiterated that the Canby Fire District does not receive information on coronavirus testing for the patients it treats and transports, and if they did, they would not be able to share it with the public due to HIPAA.

However, Chief Davis did say that, to date, no Canby firefighters or police officers have tested positive for COVID-19.

“Our fire medics who have and will be called to possible COVID-19 calls are doing their very best to stay safe,” he said. “Remember, these men and women from Canby Fire also have families to protect and support. … The safety measures that you have taken continue to make a difference.”

Canby Fire “strongly recommends” district residents wear a face covering in grocery stores or other public places, and that your continue to maintain the recommended six feet of separation from others. Wash your hands frequently. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only at times when you cannot wash your hands.

“There is no replacement for washing your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water,” Chief Davis said.

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