It's a great place to look for Siskiyou County specific information, submitted by many people in communities that are geographically isolated, but share the spirit of Siskiyou.

Less than a week after it was started on March 17, a community-centered Facebook group to disseminate information about COVID-19 in Siskiyou County has more than 800 members, and it’s growing quickly.

Founder Carin Giles, who also started other locally based Facebook groups including the popular Siskiyou County Scanner, said she was asked to begin the Siskiyou Coronavirus Response Group when coronavirus awareness began to peak earlier this week, and did so happily as a way to volunteer in the community.

“We are trying to keep (all the posts) local,” said Giles, who lives in Yreka. “It’s all about neighbors helping neighbors,” as well as a place to share legitimate information from local sources, such as the Siskiyou County Public Health Department, local businesses and organizations.

“This is a forum where residents can connect to ask for help and to provide it ... We want (posts) to be based on facts, not rumors,” Giles said. “Everyone verifies what is posted. We want people to get together and know what’s happening in our small community,” not necessarily what’s happening in metro areas.

Giles said she depends on the same admins who help her with her other pages, which include Siskiyou County Community Events and Siskiyou County Small Town Businesses. “I couldn’t do it without them,” she said.

Giles got the idea to begin Siskiyou County Scanner Facebook group five years ago, when a violent incident was happening in Fort Jones. Giles posted on her own page what she was hearing on her police scanner about a possibly dangerous suspect running through a field. One of her Facebook friends, who lived near the field, saw it and was able to protect herself and her children.

The woman later thanked Giles for her post, and “right then and there” Giles knew she’d start a group to share scanner traffic. Today, that group has nearly 16,000 members.

“That one’s my baby,” Giles said.

The other groups were begun, Giles said, because she enjoys going to local events and thought a Facebook group would be the perfect place to make people aware of all the great things happening in Siskiyou County. The business page is a place where, especially today, amid COVID-19 fears, small businesses can post specials, events, and other services they offer in the community.

Giles said she spends “a lot of time” on Facebook. As a stay at home mom, she has the time to monitor the groups, along with other admins, to ensure rules are followed. She said she doesn’t allow “drama” or cursing in any of her groups, and ensuring that thousands of people follow those guidelines can be time consuming.

Recent posts in the Siskiyou Coronavirus Response Group include pleas for suggestions as to where to find food; links to the public health department’s official COVID-19 testing results countywide; STAGE’s updated bus schedule; and advisories from local communities about services that are changed or disrupted due to the governor’s stay at home order.

It also contains links to pertinent local new stories, such as the latest efforts of local hospitals to prepare for coronavirus in Siskiyou County.

It’s a great place to look for Siskiyou County specific information, submitted by many people in communities that are geographically isolated, but share the spirit of Siskiyou.

The group is public and can be found here or by searching “Siskiyou County Coronavirus Response" in Facebook.

* All of Siskiyou Daily News' coverage of coronavirus is being provided free for our readers. Please consider supporting local journalism by calling our office at (530) 842-5777.