Emergency Closure Free Meals Program

During the statewide school closure, free breakfast and lunch are being provided through the Emergency School Closure Meal Program. The program will be providing both meal servings for pick up (grab and go) at a single time. Meals are available to any child 18 years and younger. Children must be present to receive meals.

For a location near you see the image below or check out the information page at: https://www.jcsd.k12.or.us/emergency-closure-meals-program/


Food Safety Questions In The Time Of COVID-19 – OSU Extension Service

Do you have questions about COVID-19 affecting your food safety. Check out this article written by Glenda Hyde, the Family and Community Health Educator for the OSU Extension Service in Jefferson, Crook, Deschutes, and Wheeler Counties.

Safe Pressure Canning in Times of COVID-19 – OSU Extension Service


How can home preservers pressure can vegetables, meat, fish, poultry and wild game safely when OSU Extension offices closed for face-to-face visits cannot offer free annual dial gauge testing to clients?

Presto, manufacturer of the most commonly used dial-gauge pressure canner in Central Oregon has added a statement on their web page that guides interested people to convert their dial-gauge pressure canner to a weighted-gauge canner. They do recommend purchasing a 3-piece weighted-gauge pressure regulator (rocker) that is useful for lower altitude canning using 10 pounds pressure, but in our area – no community is below 1000 feet! Weighted gauge canners adjusted for altitude over 1000 feet are pressurized using the 15-pound configuration (all three pieces). So using the 15-pound, solid, 1-piece rocker that comes with the dial gauge canner will work the same in Central Oregon.

The conversion to weighted gauge canner is as simple as turning your attention from watching the dial gauge (don’t remove it from the lid) to listening to the rocker with a few visual checks while making initial adjustments. Use the weighted gauge chart in your up-to-date, tested recipes to determine processing times and listen for gentle, steady rocking that normally releases steady (not overly strong) steam in the process. Adjust the temperature of your stove to sustain the gentle rocking of the pressure regulator. For longer processing times for some foods such as fish, you can add 1 to 2 more inches of water in your canner before you add your jars to avoid it boiling dry.

The manufacturer of All American canners recommends on their web page conversion of all of their older canners with a dial gauge and toggle vent port combination to their weighted gauge system. Customers can purchase a new stem port and pressure regulator, a round disk (like at Tinker ToyTM joint) online that jigs several times a minute, releasing some bursts of steam.

Home canners should also inspect the gaskets and plugs on the pressure canner for wear and tear annually. Plugs that have gotten hard, may not blow out of the hole they block in the lid when pressure builds to dangerous levels. This safety system prevents the canner from exploding.  Gaskets that are worn, stretched, cracked or hardened should be replaced. Depending on use, replacement might be needed every two to five years. If worn gaskets are used, the pressure canning process may fail or in some cases, the gasket could “glue” the lid to the canner! Replacement gauges and gaskets (plugs are included in the same package) for pressure canners are usually available at hardware stores or where canning equipment and supplies are sold. Replacement parts can be ordered from the manufacturer or on-line.

See up-to-date, tested recipes for all methods of food preservation free, online from OSU Extension at https://extension.oregonstate.edu/mfp/publications. If you have questions or concerns contact Glenda Hyde at OSU Extension/Deschutes County at 541-548-6088.

Written By Glenda Hyde

  Family and Community Health Educator

  OSU Extension Service serving Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson and Wheeler Counties

Jefferson County Makes Changes to Stop COVID-19 Spread

Jefferson County is actively working to prevent, slow, and stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus on our community. To protect county officials and those they serve, the county decided to limit limit contact and move to conducting as much business as possible online and by phone. County business intends to continue through phone calls, facsimile, email, online payments, and through regular mail and drop boxes at buildings. For the foreseeable future Jefferson County buildings are restricting access to employees, and asking that those in the community make prearranged appointments for urgent business.

There are a few exceptions to this new mode of business. The Sheriff’s Office and the County Courthouse will remain open to the public. It is also important to note that Jefferson County Public Health will continue to offer preventative health services, not related to COVID-19. They ask that clients check-in via phone from the parking lot, to then be escorted into the building.

The county has provided a list of contact numbers for each department, seen below. We also encourage you to visit the county website for any further questions about county services at https://www.jeffco.net/

Update-Personal Protective Equipment (Gear) Drop-off

Jefferson County Public Health is still collecting Personal Protective Equipment. Of the items they are collecting, they are also asking for hand sewn  face masks. This is a great way for the community to come together and help out, while still practice social distancing!

St. Charles Health System Provides Updates On The COVID-19 Situation (El Sistema De Salud De St. Charles Proporciona Actualizaciones Sobre La Situación COVID-19)

The St. Charles Health System and their staff have been hard at work to keep those they serve, safe and informed during the COVID-19 Crisis. Below you will find a link to the St. Charles Health System Blog and News Webpage, focusing on information surrounding COVID-19.

El Sistema de Salud de St. Charles y su personal han trabajado arduamente para mantener a aquellos a quienes sirven, seguros e informados durante la Crisis de COVID-19. A continuación encontrará un enlace al Blog del Sistema de Salud de St. Charles y la página web de Noticias, que se centra en la información que rodea a COVID-19.

The President and CEO of the St. Charles Health System, Joe Sluka, also writes to the public in “A Message from Joe Sluka.” Below you will find links to his March 30, 2020 update on the COVID-19 Crisis.

El presidente y director ejecutivo del Sistema de Salud de St. Charles, Joe Sluka, también escribe al público en “Un mensaje de Joe Sluka”. A continuación encontrará enlaces a su actualización del 30 de Marzo de 2020 sobre la crisis COVID-19.

Jefferson County Public Health COVID-19 Situation Update

Many people are worried about the way COVID-19 is affecting our communities. A great deal of this uncertainty is due to conflicting, confusing, or inaccurate information. To help get accurate information out to all residents of Central Oregon, Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson County Public Health Departments have developed some great resources for our communities. The first is the Local COVID-19 Hotline. Any resident in Central Oregon can call is 541-699-5109 and speak with a Public Health nurse or St. Charles nurse about health related questions or concerns with COVID-19. The hotline is free and available Monday through Friday from 8-5. The second resource is the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Daily Situation Update (See below). You can subscribe to receive the daily email with the most update to date COVID-19 information from a local, state, national, and international perspective. The information is developed by Central Oregon Epidemiologist, Dr. Jenny Faith, and is the most accurate data you will find in a easy to read format. Click here to subscribe https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/g7h5fdK/COVID19 .

The disruptions to daily life are challenging for all of us, yet important to slowing the spread of COVID-19. Slowing the spread helps protect our most vulnerable community members and will help keep our health system working when we need it most.

Please check the Jefferson County Public Health website (https://www.jeffco.net/publichealth) for updates on COVID-19 and for other health alerts that impact our community.

Help share accurate information with our community. Please feel free to forward this to anyone/everyone you know!


-Jefferson County Public Health