Cities across Wallowa County are adjusting to and making some rules for dealing with coronavirus and COVID-19.

In the city of Enterprise, The following phases are guidelines the city will use to aid in preventing the spread of COVID-19:

PHASE 1 (present phase): A confirmed case within the state of Oregon. Departments will stay open to the public, taking precautionary measures to prevent any possible spreading of COVID-19, to include social distancing. The Enterprise Public Library will be allowing limited access. Patrons are encouraged to contact city Librarian Denine Rautenstrauch via email at or by telephone at 541-426-3906.

PHASE 2: A confirmed case within Wallowa County. City offices will be closed to the public at this time. We will only allow for payments via XPRESS BILL PAY or drop box. City staff will be in office, available by telephone and email only. City Administrator Lacey McQuead and Public Works Director Ronnie Neil (or person appointed) will be available for emergency purposes via cell phone. The Enterprise Public Library will be CLOSED.

PHASE 3: A confirmed case in Enterprise. City offices will be closed. Utility payments will be accepted through XPRESS BILL PAY or by mail/drop box. Mail and drop box payments will be processed when the city resumes normal operations. The usual late charges or after hour calls will be waived. For emergency sewer or water disruptions, utility customers should contact the after-hours service line at 541-263-0334. The Enterprise Public Library will be CLOSED.

As proactive steps to ensure the well-being of our community, the city of Enterprise has decided to reschedule or cancel events, services and in-person meetings, effective immediately.

Joseph has also set its own protocols for the time ahead. City Administrator Larry Braden implemented the changes on Monday, March 16.

Joseph has two employees with badly compromised immune systems, which worried him.

“That kind of scared me, and it scares them,” he said. “To keep them comfortable and to continue to work, led me to making that call to close it off (city hall) to the public.”

Residents can mail in city bills or place them in the drop-off box. For general information or questions, residents can call in or email. Braden said that many callers inquire how the city will protect its staff and keep functioning, particularly with utilities. The city pays the sheriff’s office for extra patrols, and Braden said that nothing has changed in that regard so far.

Braden said that the city hasn’t had to lay off any employees. Utility workers are using their trucks as offices and that regardless of city hall being off limits, all employees are working and everything is functioning normally.

Lostine City Recorder Toni Clary, said because of the distance from the nearest case and Lostine’s size, things were going on as usual — that is, until La Grande had its first case.

Clary added that she is discussing her options, including working from home, with Mayor Dusty Tippett. This would include residents dropping off city payments.

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