By Richard Uhlhorn
Laura Schmidt, Columbia Valley Community Health, said that the Chelan location hasn’t had an in-community COVID positive in two months. “Chelan, Chelan Falls and the Manson communities have not had a positive since April 10,” she said. That includes packing sheds and migrant worker housing.
“We are continuing to open more services (at Chelan CVCH facility) here… particularly more in-person visits,” said Schmidt. She added that the dentist and medical team are calling people on the wait list for in-person visits. “We are up and running as fully as possible.”
The only positives CVCH has seen are people doing close work at packing sheds or at orchard related housing quarters. “We haven’t had a commuity positive that is not related to orchard work.”
Kari Grover-Weir, Chelan District Ranger, told the team that the District is hoping to open campgrounds on Friday afternoon, June 12. “That would mean our local campgrounds and up-lake campgrounds,” said Weir. The Ranger Station will not be open to the public yet.
Weir also remarked that the District has had no positive cases and that both Entiat and Chelan are fully staffed with seasonal firefighters with 20 in each location.
Wildfire continues to be a major concern this year. Sgt. Kent Sisson said that the EOC staff has been working with the City of Leavenworth on wildfire plans including evacuations.
Sisson also said that the EOC has received the 50,000 cloth masks as of Wednesday and is in the process of getting them out. These masks will be given to business owners for use during the reopening phases. “The are for business owners to use for their employees,” said Sisson.
Joyous Van Meter reported that there were 442 cases but zero new cases in the last several days. Only 28 cases were recorded in the last 14 days (36 per 100,000) and Van Meter said that was encouraging.
Superintendent Barry DePaoli reported that Chelan had a great graduation despite the lack of an actual ceremony. “It was a great graduation with a virtual ceremony and a social distancing photo shoot that went very well,” said DePaoli. “I want to thank the community for all their support. We had 2,000 on-line to watch the graduation.”
DePaoli said that the District has its work cut out for the summer. “The main goal is to reopen the schools that protects both the students and staff.” DePaoli is working on a set of different scenarios for reopening.
School will be closed on June 19 which will end the daily lunch program on Woodin, but DePaoli has been working with Thrive and said that organization would provide drive through lunch service on Fridays.
Mayor Goedde asked how the remote schooling went and DePaoli replied that nationwide it was at 30 percent, 40 percent in state and Chelan was between 50 and 60 percent engagement. “Learning is a social interaction that kids need. We’ve definitely lost that. We have many kids that have not been engaged and we have to get better at it,” said DePaoli. “The last three months have not been the best for us.”
Ray Dobbs asked if the pass or incomplete gave students an incentive to not engage” DePaoli replied that he wasn’t sure but that any grade coming out of COVID will have an asterix after it.
Dobbs then asked if the District was considering removing the School Resource Officer? DePaoli replied that the resource officer is shared with the Manson School District. “I have no intention to do that unless we are forced to next year.” DePaoli remarked that Nigel has been involved in counseling and partnering up to make home visits. “We have every intention to keep Nigel on staff.”
Mayor Goedde stated that the City will be reopening its RV park this next week. “We are in the process of opening the park, but it will still be closed to camping. I could not justify keeping it closed any longer,” he said. The restrooms will remain closed.
He also said that the City is evaluating with Erin McCardle where they can put tables for take out orders so people can eat and enjoy the weather. He also remarked that in Canada, they rent out parking spaces, put a raised deck with table on it and serve food. “That’s something we want to consider.”
Goedde also encouraged residents to wear masks. He said he has been a little disappointed in the results of the Mask Contest and encouraged people to join the fun.This coming week’s theme is still professional and college sports. “I know there are a lot of Seahawk masks out there… send photos in.”
Wier asked if there were still locks on the tennis courts and City Administrator Wade Ferris said he would check on that and get them unlocked. Weir replied that closing tennis courts never made much sense to her. Ferris hopes to open up the Volleyball courts also.
Manson Chamber Director Debbie Conwell said the community is still working with the Sheriff and Fire District on the Fourth of July Fireworks show.
Fire Chief Mark Donnell said that Chelan Fire and Rescue has been busy. “I have a strong feeling that this is just the beginning of a long fire season,” he said. Regarding the two recent structural fires, Donnell said both are still under investigation but both appear to be purely accidental starts.
The Leadership Response Team meets on a virtual call every Thursday at 1 p.m. The meeting can be accessed by dialing 351-888-7591.