Mailbag: Shocked by county response to virus

Mailbag: Shocked by county response to virus


I find myself shocked by the utterly inadequate COVID-19 response of Benton County and its health department co-director, Charlie Fautin.

Fautin claims that “we have no way to prevent this’’ other than social distancing (GT, May 12). Distancing is a necessary but utterly insufficient response. And why are our county commissioners allowing such a paltry response to this serious public safety threat to our well-being?

What actions could Benton County take to slow the COVID-19 virus? A county-wide and county-initiated mask-wearing campaign, even requirement, for those in public places. City and county public service announcements on all media sites to drive home the message. Massively stepped-up Benton County testing of residents, and tracing of the sources of spread to strive for better containment.

And, if either Gov. Brown or Benton County allow a too-early re-opening of Oregon State University, with its thousands of students returning from many locations in and out of state, and its many staff members now working remotely, we will increase the likelihood of debilitating infection or death of many residents in Benton County.

We will further stress our local health care system, first responders, providers and caregivers. We will stress our local grocery stores and all the other businesses trying so hard to meet our needs.

We can do better, Benton County.

Pat Penfield



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