MEDFORD, Ore. -- Today dozens of Jackson County residents gave virtual testimonies on Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority’s risk level restrictions for COVID-19.
The public hearing was led by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners.
Residents had two minutes to say if they were in support, opposition or neutral to the restrictions listed on OHA’s guidance chart.
For some Jackson County residents, it’s too soon to ease the guidelines.
Ashland educator Jeanne Chouard says she works with young children who experience disabilities. She says she’s only able to go back to work because of the progress the state has made in controlling the virus – but there’s still a risk.
“I think we all have common ground that we need to have our kids in school. Kids need opportunities to participate in sports and other extracurricular things, but we can only continue to provide those opportunities for our children if we keep a handle on community spread,” Chouard said. “So therefore, I urge you not to continue to undermine Governor Brown's policies, but to work with the state and support these restrictions.”
Medford resident Daryl Griggs feels that not enough is being done to safeguard kids and their mental health.
“Parents that are at home with the children, even though the schools are opening partially, it's still a struggle,” Griggs said. “I feel like we need to have more eyes on those things that are going on as well as everything else that you guys are struggling and fighting through.”
Commissioners say they’re trying to advocate for a more balanced policy that works for everyone.
After all of the testimonies are submitted, the Board of Commissioners will send them to Salem policymakers.
If you would like to submit a written testimony, you can submit it by mail to 10 South Oakdale, Room 214, Medford OR 97501, or by email to BoC-CAO_Admin@jacksoncounty.org.
The deadline to submit a written testimony is 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 1st.