The article about the County Commissioners taking steps to open the County to prepare for tourist season left me gobsmacked. Tourist season? Are you kidding? Sure, some people will be traveling. The risk takers will be the ones. As for us, we canceled a May trip to Italy and we recently canceled a July trip to Wallowa Lake. Shortly after we canceled, the annual week-long dulcimer camp up at the lake was canceled. Rightly so. Sure, you’ve had one positive case. At least that’s what you know of. However, you’ve only tested about a third of one per net of the residents, the second fewest of Oregon’s 36 counties. Only Baker County has tested a smaller portion of its residents. While you’ll have some tourists, the larger population centers of the Northwest, including Spokane and Boise, are going to be very slow to open. State parks in Oregon will be closed at least until the beginning of June. Again, rightly so. When those parks open, social distancing requirements will be in place and that’ll lower the number of campers. What Wallowa County needs to be focused on is administering many more tests, at least one percent of the population, and conducting antibody testing. Doing so, assuming few or no more positive cases are uncovered, will go far in helping residents and visitors alike feel safe.

Robert Procter


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