Ocean Shores officials are preparing their mostly-retired community for the new norm with things like hand sanitizer at the library, police and fire stations, and city hall. Mayor Crystal Dingler said in a statement from the city yesterday “the focus has shifted away from isolating and preventing new cases. It has become clear that with a two-week incubation period and most people having very mild symptoms that this will continue to spread regardless of any isolation measures put in place.”

Dingler began, “First, I want to share my continuing concern for the residents of Life Center in Kirkland and the families who have lost loved ones or whose loved ones have been exposed. Our community supports them and those in other states and countries who are affected.”

The press release follows:

This is an evolving event. Policy makers and leaders have been adapting and establishing new sets of expectations and recommendations. We are all determined to protect our older population and those with compromised immune systems; and in doing those things, we also want to protect our employees, businesses and economy to make sure that we are able to continue to have people employed. The more we can slow down the transmission of this disease, the greater chance we have of helping people remain healthy. This virus will test us. We need to look out for one another and be compassionate, yet we need to act with urgency.

Our City Administrator has outlined recommendations and precautions we are taking within the City, as follows:

The City of Ocean Shores is following Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations and implementing all recommended protocols and procedures communicated by the Grays Harbor County Public Health Department and the Emergency Management Service office in Aberdeen. CDC recommendations will change as more information becomes available; and Grays Harbor EMS is working to develop more concrete recommendations.

The State Emergency Management Division conducted a webinar for elected officials regarding COVID-19 in which the Mayor and Ocean Shores city department heads participated. In the webinar, the Department of Health (DOH) provided an update on where the epidemic currently stands and what legal, policy, and planning considerations around non-pharmaceutical interventions local elected officials, emergency managers, and public health jurisdictions should engage in.

The focus has shifted away from isolating and preventing new cases. It has become clear that with a two-week incubation period and most people having very mild symptoms that this will continue to spread regardless of any isolation measures put in place. As with the Flu, it will be most dangerous for the old, the young, and those with underlying medical issues. Most people will exhibit only mild viral syndromes.

While we continue to follow the lead of the Grays Harbor Community Public Health Department; the City of Ocean Shores department are taking following actions:

Ocean Shores Convention Center – The Ocean Shores Convention Center follows the Center for Disease Control Interim Guidelines for mass gatherings and large community events. These include:

  • Daily cleaning of frequently-touched surfaces and door-handles and deep cleaning after each event
  • Visual aids offering guidance to help slow the spread of COVID-19
  • Visual aids encouraging sick people not to attend events
  • Extra sanitation stations at both entrances and where food is served
  • An isolation area has been prepared with appropriate supplies.
  • Putting Emergency Operations and communication plans into action and staying informed of local situations when necessary

Ocean Shores Library – Provide hand sanitizer at the front door entrance along with educational information. The daily cleaning of surfaces and door handles and reminding the public with basic prevention measures. Health and COVID-19 Coronavirus information will be disseminated to all Ocean Shores library card holders via email.

Ocean Shores Police Department – Provide hand sanitizer at front lobby along with educational information.  Daily cleaning of surfaces and door handles along with reminding the public of basic prevention measures.

Ocean Shores Fire Department – Following CDC guidelines and protocols handed down by GHEMS office.

  • Hand sanitizer at entrances of the fire station
  • Limited access to general public to certain areas of the fire station
  • Updates from GHEMS office in Aberdeen and Department of Health
  • Additional medical supplies. masks, isolation gowns, eye protection

The City of Ocean Shores will continue following recommendations from GHEMS and Department of Health.  Ocean Shores Fire Department wants to remind everyone that this is also cold and flu season; so if you are presenting symptoms it may be the flu or cold and you should contact you primary health care provider and not an Emergency Department unless you are suffering with symptoms such as fever and/or have traveled or been in contact with someone that has traveled recently.

Basic Guidance:

  • Wash our hands frequently
  • If you are sick, stay home
  • Maintain a social distance
  • Avoid touching your face and eyes when possible
  • Practice good hygiene by covering your sneezes and coughs
  • Stay informed by your Health Care Provider
  • Remain calm

Additional resources:

You can find updated information on COVID-19 and cases in Washington state on the DOH website. The DOH has also set up a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington, please call 1 (800) 525-0127 and press #.