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Maskless meeting raises COVID-19 concerns in Klamath Co.

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KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — An event meant to voice frustration over COVID-19 restrictions in Klamath County raised concerns with some residents Monday after it appeared no one was social distancing or wearing masks.

Commissioners Kelley Minty Morris and Derrick DeGroot, State Rep. E. Werner Reschke and State Sen. Dennis Linthicum met with residents at the Klamath County Fairgrounds Thursday. The event was organized by a group called Klamath County Patriots.

A photo posted on Reschke’s Facebook page upset some residents who reached out to both NBC5 News and Klamath Co. Public Health to voice their concerns. Though no one seemed to be wearing masks or social distancing in the photo, DeGroot said there were signs recommending social distancing and mask-wearing. He said masks were also made available to people who wanted them.

“I will say that not many people took advantage of that offer by the organizers,” said DeGroot, “but that was viewed as their rights. Nobody made them adhere to anything they didn’t want to.”

Minty Morris sent us the following statement:

“I look to Public Health, Medical Professionals and my own Doctor for health guidance. They all recommend social distancing, hand washing and wearing a mask. As someone who represents a large and diverse county, I respectfully listen to all perspectives- all voices deserve to be heard and I serve all. At times we may disagree, but we are a community.”

Klamath Co. has had three deaths related to COVID-19, the most recent was a 44-year-old man last week.

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