WOODBURN, OR (KPTV) – Senior citizens in Woodburn protested Thursday after Marion County decided to isolate people with COVID-19 at a Super 8 motel in the city.
Marion County Health and Human Services is working to finalize a nine-month contract with the hotel, which would allow people exposed to the virus to self isolate for up to two weeks.
They said the 81-room hotel would be monitored by security 24/7 to prevent people with the virus from leaving their room. Anything the person in isolation needs would be provided to them by Marion County staff, according to a press release.
A statement from the city’s communications manager Thursday said in part: “The city found the County’s facility to be in violation of current land use law and illegal to operate within the existing zone per the Woodburn Development Ordinance. The City is obligated to enforce its laws regardless of who may be in violation. We hope this matter can be resolved quickly and amenably.”
Residents said because of the large, older community in Woodburn they’re more vulnerable to this virus. Larry Jones lives in a local retirement community and said he’s happy to see his city taking action.
“I’m happy as hell that they’re getting their attorneys on it. We don’t have to go to court and use our money to do this, we have the city behind us,” Jones said.
Another resident, Carol Bolton, said she understands the need for a facility like this, but it’s not the right decision for their city.
“In general, it’s a fantastic idea, I think it could make a big difference in people’s lives and help them get healthier sooner. They need that resource and every county is required to have that resource,” Bolton said.
Bolton said it’s not too late for Marion County to choose another location, and encouraged them to do so.
For now, the Marion County Health and Human Services Department is set to start managing the facility on July 1.
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