Clatsop County reported Friday that a woman living in the northern part of the county has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The woman is in her 50s and was recovering at home.

Clatsop County Public Health Department

Clatsop County is tracking 46 local coronavirus cases.

The county has tracked 46 cases since March 23. Forty-one have recovered and all of the others are convalescing at home.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 4,131 cases and 151 deaths from the virus statewide as of Friday morning.

The health authority tracked 1,513 test results in Clatsop County, including 45 of the positive cases.

Michael McNickle, the county’s public health director, said during a Board of Commissioners work session Wednesday that 84% of the people who have tested positive in the county are Hispanic.

McNickle said that the county has conducted more than 480 tests in the past three weeks. About half of the people were tested at the county’s drive-thru community testing, he said, and the other half were tested at seafood processors.

Commissioner Sarah Nebeker expressed concerns about the safety of Hispanic workers, especially in the hospitality industry as hotels begin to open.

McNickle validated her concerns and said it may be problematic.

“And, you know, these families who are intragenerational in these homes, may have several members who not only work in the back of the house of a restaurant, they also may work in fish processing or maybe they have both those jobs,” he said.

He said the question will be if businesses are able to provide enough personal protective equipment to workers and education about how they can protect themselves.

McNickle said the county has reached out to the Lower Columbia Hispanic Council to figure out the best messages to encourage people to get tested, protect themselves, their families and friends.

The county Board of Commissioners voted Friday to follow the state’s lead and approve extending the county’s emergency order on the coronavirus until July 6.

The board also approved an order to ease restrictions on lodging and camping on June 5, allowing them to open at 60% capacity for a minimum of 21 days before going to full capacity.

Vacation rentals with five or fewer guests can open at 100% capacity, while those with an occupancy of six to eight can allow up to five guests.

County Manager Don Bohn said the incremental approach to reopening lodging is being done in coordination with Astoria, Warrenton and Gearhart. He said the flexibility for vacation rentals is an effort to be equitable.

“You know, we still know that this is not what a lot of our lodging partners would like,” Bohn said. “And we’re trying to thread the needle about being sensitive to the economic challenges that the community is facing, but to still allow ourselves the ability and flexibility to respond if we start having more cases and having stress on our medical system.”

Nicole Bales is a reporter for The Astorian, covering police, courts and county government. Contact her at 971-704-1724 or nbales@dailyastorian.com.

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