All Politics is Local

Camas mayor in self-quarantine after Spain trip

Camas Mayor Barry McDonnell has, one might say, a global perspective of the COVID-19 pandemic after a family vacation to Spain.

McDonnell, his wife and four children left two weeks ago, the mayor said in a video posted Friday to the city’s website and YouTube pages. On Saturday, Spain imposed an immediate, nationwide lockdown to fight COVID-19.

After spending a couple of days on the phone with airlines, McDonnell and his family returned to Camas on Wednesday. That same day, he authorized the city’s emergency declaration.

McDonnell said in the video that his family has self-quarantined.

“We are all feeling very healthy and fine. However, we are taking the recommendations and ensuring that we are staying in the house for the next two weeks to ensure that we do not unintentionally pass anything on that we may have picked up in Spain or during our traveling to the various airports,” McDonnell said.

On top of city hall being closed and various other steps the city has taken (which you can find on the city’s website), McDonnell said Friday that the city has asked all non-essential staff to work from home.

“This is a global emergency, and here in Camas, we are treating it as such,” McDonnell said. “My biggest focus right now, and the city’s biggest focus right now, is ensuring the safety of our citizens and ensuring we are doing everything we can (to prevent) this virus (from) spreading in our city.”

McDonnell said he will post videos of coronavirus-related conversations with city officials beginning next week. Fire Chief Nick Swinhart and Police Chief Mitch Lackey are scheduled to appear Monday. Finance Director Cathy Huber-Nickerson will follow on Tuesday and Public Works Director Steve Wall on Wednesday.

“The good news is that I think we are in a very good place,” McDonnell said. “I’ve been really impressed with how everyone has stepped up, and I’m confident in our city’s leadership.”

Jack Heffernan

Jack Heffernan

Jack Heffernan is a breaking news reporter and covers Clark County government for The Columbian.