Oregon Coronavirus Update and Preparedness; Latest News & Information Here

Breaking News

Updated Monday, April 6, 2020, 1:30 PM

Oregon reports 2 new COVID-19 deaths, 64 new COVID-19 cases

PORTLAND, Ore. — COVID-19 has claimed two more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 29, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority also reported 64 new cases of COVID-19 as of 8 a.m. today. The new COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (2), Clackamas (6), Columbia (2), Curry (2), Deschutes (1), Douglas (1), Jackson (6), Josephine (3), Klamath (3), Lane (2), Linn (1), Marion (11), Multnomah (10), Polk (2), Umatilla (1), Washington (12). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Oregon’s 28th COVID-19 death is a 93-year-old male in Washington County, who tested positive on March 30 and died April 4, at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. He had underlying medical conditions.

Oregon’s 29th COVID-19 death is a 70-year-old female in Marion county, who tested positive on April 1 and died April 2, in her residence. She had underlying medical conditions.

Update: The COVID-19 case data OHA publishes once a day on its website and shares once a day with the media are provisional and subject to change. A case reported yesterday as a Yamhill County case was later determined to be a Washington County case. The total number of new cases in Washington County is 12 to reflect this change. However, the case that moved from Yamhill County to Washington County is not reflected in the total of new cases statewide for today.

New dashboard to help visualize COVID-19 data in Oregon


OHA today unveiled a new dashboard to help visualize COVID-19 data and trends in Oregon. The two graphs show Oregon’s epidemiological curve and the number of Oregonians who have been tested for COVID-19.

These data are provisional. Our team of epidemiologists continues to review and verify data, so our reported numbers will change. As we get more information, we update the data from previous days.

You can find a link to our data dashboard on OHA’s main COVID-19 web page at http://healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Watch this video for an overview of the dashboard.


Stay informed about COVID-19:

Oregon response: The Oregon Health Authority leads the state response.

United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response.

Global response: The World Health Organization guides the global response.

Klamath County Public Health (KCPH) officials have announced six new COVID-19 cases in the county. It brings the county case count to 21, with 20 being active and one recovery. There have been 355 tests given in the county.

New cases are not a surprise as testing is now more available. It is important to look at the number of people who have been hospitalized, only three, in relation to the overall total of 21. Also, evidence is showing that people may contract the virus and have no symptoms. They may infect others without realizing it. This is why it is important to continue the practices of staying home, social or physical distancing of six feet, disinfecting surfaces, and frequent handwashing.

The CDC issued guidance that wearing a cloth mask or other fabric face covering may provide some protection to individuals in the community from asymptomatic people who are sick. KCPH officials encourage anyone who wears a mask to remember not to touch their face and to wash their mask after every use. Additionally, people opting to use a mask are asked should not use N95 or surgical masks, as those are reserved for healthcare workers.

Klamath County has a new confirmed COVID-19 case

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Klamath County Public Health (KCPH) officials have announced a new COVID-19 case in the county. It brings the county case count to 15, with 14 being active and one recovery. There have been 293 tests given in the county.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also just announced that people should wear fabric masks to slow the spread of COVID-19.Jackson County Public Health made a similar announcement last week.

KCPH officials want community members to know that wearing a mask does not remove the need to keep six feet of social or physical distance from others and practice good hygiene, often washing hands and disinfecting surfaces. People opting to use a mask should not to use N95 or surgical masks, as those are reserved for healthcare workers.

COVID-19 is now in the community. Many people will contract the virus and have no symptoms. They may infect others without realizing it. That is why staying at home, social or physical distancing, and frequent handwashing is so important.

For more information and COVID-19 updates, visit publichealth.klamathcounty.org/coronavirus.

State of Oregon Update

Stay informed to flatten the curveAs of today, Oregon has reported more than 1,000 COVID-19 cases for the first time. (More details are below.) We know this is alarming to hear, but your efforts are helping to flatten the curve. Thank you for all you’re doing to help, including staying informed.#MyORHealth horizontal rule
Homemade masks can supplement but not replace Stay Home, Save Lives ordersIn light of the CDC’s new guidance on homemade masks or cloth face coverings, Oregon Health Authority is reminding Oregonians that staying home and avoiding all non-essential contact with others continues to be the most important thing all of us can do to stay healthy and keep others healthy. OHA also asks that medical masks be saved for health care workers, who are on the front lines of caring for those with COVID-19. Read more from OHA on homemade masks here.Masks guidance#MyORHealth horizontal rule
Talking to children and teens about COVID-19Students are spending a significant time out of school due to COVID-19. It is natural they may feel stress and anxiety about when they will get to return to their regular routines with their teachers and their friends. Children will likely have many questions about what the virus is, why schools are closed, and why they have limited access to friends and family. The Oregon Department of Education has put together resources for talking with children about COVID-19.

COVID-19 has claimed one more life in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll from 26 to 27, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8 a.m. Sunday.

Oregon Health Authority also reported 69 new cases of COVID-19 as of 8 a.m. Sunday. The new COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Clackamas (6), Columbia (3), Klamath (1), Lane (3), Linn (2), Marion (10), Multnomah (24), Polk (2), Sherman (1), Umatilla (2), Washington (12), Yamhill (3). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Oregon’s 27th COVID-19 death is a 62-year-old female in Multnomah County, who tested positive on April 2, 2020, and died on April 2, 2020, in her residence. It is unknown at this time if she had underlying medical conditions.

Oregon reports 1 new COVID-19 death, 73 new COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 has claimed one more life in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 22, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority also reported 73 new cases of COVID-19 as of 8 a.m. today. The new COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (2), Clackamas (5), Clatsop (1), Crook (1), Deschutes (4), Klamath (5), Malheur (1), Marion (14), Morrow (1), Multnomah (15), Polk (2), Washington (17), Yamhill (5). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Oregon’s 22nd COVID-19 death is a 71-year-old man in Polk County, who tested positive on March 19 and died April 2 at Salem Hospital. He had underlying medical conditions.

OHA: Non-medical masks can supplement but not replace Stay Home, Save Lives.

With recent news that federal authorities may recommend wearing masks in public, Oregon Health Authority is reminding Oregonians that staying home and avoiding all non-essential contact with others continues to be the most important thing all of us can do to stay healthy and keep others healthy. And during moments where people must go out of the house, they should stay at least 6 feet apart from others at all times.

Before deciding whether to wear a mask, Oregon Health Authority recommends people keep two considerations central:

  • Medical masks should be reserved for health care providers who are on the front lines working with patients most likely to have COVID-19. We have had shortages of those masks – and it’s critically important that our health care workers have the equipment they need to do their jobs.
  • Non-medical mask use (e.g., homemade fabric masks) does not replace the need to follow guidance to stay home and limit our contact with others. It does not replace frequent handwashing, avoiding touching the face, and staying away from people who are ill. These are the most important steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 illness.

“We continue to stress that medical masks are essential for health care workers who are in close contact with someone who has COVID-19,” said Paul Cieslak, MD, medical director for communicable diseases, OHA Public Health Division. “We need to preserve supplies of medical masks for our health care workers so they can stay safe as they work to keep all of us healthy. For the general public, homemade fabric masks, especially if well-made and well-fitting, may provide some benefit.”

Wearing a fabric mask can help prevent the spread of infection to others when the mask is worn by someone who already is infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, particularly if the person is coughing. The mask may block some infectious droplets from spreading when someone with the infection coughs, sneezes and, to a lesser degree, speaks.

“The data do not tell us how much protection homemade cloth masks provide to the person wearing a homemade mask. For this reason, homemade and fabric masks should not be considered reliable protection; but they may provide some benefit,” said Cieslak. “Above all, we continue to stress that the reliable tool we have right now to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is strict social distancing – as outlined in Governor Brown’s ‘Stay Home, Save Lives’ orders.”

Everyone, even people who are young and healthy, must stay home to slow the spread of COVID-19. Read more here about Governor Brown’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” orders. Read more here about OHA’s social distancing guidelines.

Changes in hospital reporting

COVID-19 hospital capacity data on today’s Daily Update, formerly labeled the Situation Status Report, or Sit Stat, is listed as “pending” due to data quality issues. OHA is working with its partner hospitals to improve the COVID-19 data reporting process so we can ensure the accuracy, consistency and timeliness of the underlying data. The state has paused our public reporting so OHA can provide additional technical assistance to hospital staff. OHA will resume public reporting of COVID-19 hospital capacity data as soon as we have achieved full compliance and consistency in data reporting across all sources.

Stay informed about COVID-19:

Oregon response: The Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Office of Emergency Management lead the state response.

United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response.

Klamath County has 2 new confirmed COVID-19 cases

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Klamath County Public Health (KCPH) officials have announced two new COVID-19 cases in the county. These bring the county case count to 14, with 13 being active and one recovery. There have been 235 tests given in the county.

KCPH staff know there is concern in the community about the increased case number. It is important that everyone takes this virus seriously. People can show their support for keeping the community healthy by staying home as much as possible and practicing social distancing, when leaving home is necessary. It is also important to understand that increased access to testing will find more cases. This is a positive step to being able to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Test results that show infection are followed up through contact tracing. This allows Public Health to work with the person about quarantine and isolation. It also protects everyone from infection by those members of the community who are at highest risk of exposing others.

COVID-19 is now in the community. Many people will contract the virus and have no symptoms. They may infect others without realizing it. That is why staying at home, social or physical distancing, and frequent handwashing is so important.

To protect the identity of individuals with an illness, KCPH’s threshold for sharing communicable disease demographics is 10 cases.

For more information and COVID-19 updates, visit publichealth.klamathcounty.org/coronavirus.

STAY HOME, SAVE LIVES IS WORKING IN OREGON

New projections from health researchers show there is “strong evidence that measures currently in place in Oregon are reducing transmission,” but these measures need to be maintained to reduce the number of COVID-19 infections in Oregon.

During a virtual press briefing this afternoon, Oregon Office of Emergency Management director Andrew Phelps, along with Dr. Dean Sidelinger of Oregon Health Authority, discussed projections of the disease’s spread in the state. Go to https://oregon-coronavirus-geo.hub.arcgis.com/ to view video from the briefing. Dr. Sidelinger is a specialist in epidemiology and immunization.

“By staying home, Oregonians are doing their part to flatten the curve,” said Andrew Phelps. “When Oregonians stay home, we limit contact with sick people, protect first responders and frontline workers, preserving hospital space, and extend the life of the state’s supply of personal protection equipment, such as masks and gloves.”

Phelps clarified that the briefings will be occurring regularly and that media advisories will be sent out on the days there are webinars. The Oregon Joint Information Center (JIC) may be reached at media.COVID-19@state.or.us or 503-373-7872 with any immediate questions.

Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Oregon reports 2 new COVID-19 deaths, 90 new COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 has claimed 2 more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll from 19 to 21, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority also reported 90 new cases of COVID-19 as of 8 a.m. today bringing the statewide total to 826. The new COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (2), Clackamas (5), Deschutes (5), Hood River (1), Jackson (5), Josephine (2), Klamath (3), Lane (3), Lincoln (1), Marion (13), Union (2), Multnomah (26), Washington (22), and Yamhill (1). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Oregon’s twentieth COVID-19 death is a 61-year-old man in Washington County, who tested positive on March 21, 2020, and died on April 1, 2020 at Tuality Healthcare. He had underlying medical conditions.

Oregon’s twenty-first COVID-19 death is a 91-year-old woman in Marion County, who tested positive on March 31, 2020, and died on April 1, 2020 at her residence. She had underlying medical conditions.

Update: The COVID-19 case data OHA publishes once a day on its website and shares once a day with the media are provisional and subject to change. A case reported yesterday as a Douglas County case was later determined to be a Lane County case. The total number of new cases in Lane County is 3 to reflect this change. However, the case moved from Douglas County to Lane County is not reflected in the total of new cases statewide for today.

Klamath County has 7 new confirmed COVID-19 cases

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Klamath County Public Health (KCPH) officials have announced seven new COVID-19 cases in the county. These bring the county case count to 12, with 11 being active and one recovery.

While it is now known that Klamath County is experiencing community spread, Klamath County Public Health remains committed to identifying additional exposures when needed to best protect our community. Alaska Airlines Flight 583 from Santa Ana to Portland and Alaska Airlines Flight 2059 from Portland to Medford on March 21 have been identified as potential exposures. This was determined through contact tracing and investigation. Anyone associated with these flights who develop symptoms should contact their local public health agency.

KCPH is working with its colleagues at Jackson County Public Health to ensure the entire region is informed about the possible exposure on these flights.

Community spread is the reason people are asked to practice social distancing and stay home. Most people who contract COVID-19 will not have symptoms or have minor symptoms. Those individuals can carry the virus to infect people who are at greater risk, such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.

To protect the identity of individuals with an illness, KCPH’s threshold for sharing communicable disease demographics is 10 cases.

Age groupCasesEver hospitalizedDeath
0-19
20-293
30-391
40-4931
50-592
60-6931

COVID-19 has claimed one more life in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 19, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority also reported 47 new cases of COVID-19 as of 8 a.m. today. The new COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (1), Clackamas (6), Deschutes (3), Douglas (1), Jackson (1), Lane (2), Lincoln (1), Marion (10), Multnomah (18), Washington (3), and Yamhill (1). One case previously reported in Hood River County was identified as a resident of another state; thus, today’s statewide case count is 736. Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Oregon’s nineteenth COVID-19 death is a 70-year-old woman in Multnomah County, who tested positive on March 27, 2020, and died on March 29, 2020 at her residence. She had underlying medical conditions.

Update: The COVID-19 case data OHA publishes once a day on its website and shares once a day with the media are provisional and subject to change. A case reported yesterday as a Hood River County case was later determined to be a Washington State case. The total number of new cases reported as of yesterday has changed from 690 to 689.

KLAMATH BASIN LOCAL NEWS from BASINLIFE.COM, CLICK HERE

Latest COVID-19 projections show social distancing can cut coronavirus infections if Oregonians keep current measures in place into May

Updated projections from health researchers show that there is “strong evidence that measures currently in place in Oregon are reducing transmission,” according to the latest models.  The most recent data suggest that current social distancing measures could cut transmission rates between 50%-70% if Oregonians maintain these limitations on virus-spreading interactions into early May.

If Oregonians can maintain current social distancing efforts and the current projections hold true, the state could meet the likely demand for hospital beds under current strategies. 

According to the latest report, researchers estimate that Oregon has slightly higher numbers of current infections than previously assessed, based on an increase in reported cases from earlier time points.

  • COVID-19 infections: Under current social distancing conditions with the cooperation of most Oregonians to Stay Home, Save Lives, it is estimated that in early May Oregon would have over 4,000 cumulative infections and 200-1,200 active infections. However, if the state were to reopen non-essential businesses (while keeping schools closed), the number of new infections would spike to as many as 3,500 active infections by early May
  • Hospital beds needed: Researchers found “expected demand for hospital beds is predicted to remain relatively constant before decreasing, assuming current or strengthened interventions and continued high compliance
  • Uncertainty: Researchers highlighted that the projections remain uncertain. In coming weeks, state public health officials and researchers will get a better picture of current actual infections and how they affect the projections, as well as more data on the public’s continued adherence to social distancing measures.

The models state health officials released today were prepared by the Institute for Disease Modeling, based in Washington.

Oregon’s emergency response continues to focus on strengthening the health care system’s ability to meet the coming surge. State health officials are working with hospitals and other health care partners to mobilize the health care workforce and keep workers safe, expand bed capacity and secure more ventilators. However, the public’s ability to maintain social distancing will be the most important factor in determining whether Oregon prevents local hospitals from becoming overwhelmed by COVID-19 admissions.

Dr. Dean Sidelinger, state health officer at OHA, said: “We know coronavirus has brought painful disruption and distress for Oregonians. However, these numbers tell us that what we’re doing can work. We know social distancing is tough and comes with incredible sacrifices. But steps we’re all taking to maintain social distancing could save the lives of people we know and people who are important to us. As Oregonians, we all must continue to put Stay Home, Save Lives into practice.”

Allergies symptoms

Now that Spring has arrived, many of us are experiencing allergies. Dr. Ann Thomas from the Oregon Health Authority shares advice on what to do if you’re not sure if your symptoms are regular seasonal allergies or symptoms of COVID-19.
Removing barriers to OHP access during the COVID-19 pandemic

OHA has received flexibility from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to remove barriers for Oregonians to qualify for, enroll in, and stay enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan (OHP). Key changes include: All members who are currently enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan will not lose coverage during this crisis. This includes coverage that is only state-funded (i.e. Covers all Kids). Individuals can sign up for OHP without having to verify their income (submit a pay stub) with their application. They will be able to self-attest, which will help Oregonians get access to OHP coverage more quickly. Federal stimulus payments and increased unemployment payments will not affect OHP eligibility. They will not be counted during the application process or when members report a change in their household. If you’re an OHP member, see OHA’s fact sheet on OHP and COVID-19 for more information: English/Spanish
Helpful resources for those working from home for the first time

Because of social distancing, you might find yourself working from home for the first time. These resources from SAIF can help you set up a safe and comfortable work station at your home. Learn how to set up a work area that reduces physical stressors. Pause periodically for some office stretches. Before work or during breaks, do these core exercises to help prevent injury. In addition, the Oregon Department of Justice offers tips to keep your work information safe from cybersecurity threats.

COVID-19 claims two more lives; Oregon reports 84 new cases

COVID-19 has claimed 2 more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll from 16 to 18, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8 a.m. today. Oregon Health Authority also reported 84 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 690, as of 8 a.m. today. The COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (3), Clackamas (10), Douglas (1), Hood River (1), Jackson (1), Klamath (1), Lane (4), Lincoln (1), Linn (1), Malheur (1), Marion (18), Multnomah (16), Polk (3), Umatilla (1), Wallowa (1), Wasco (2), Washington (18), and Yamhill (2). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Oregon’s 17th COVID-19 death is a 90-year-old man in Yamhill County, who tested positive on March 25, 2020, and died on March 29, 2020, at Providence Newberg Medical Center. He had underlying medical conditions. Oregon’s 18th COVID-19 death is an 88-year-old woman in Benton County, who tested positive on March 26, 2020, and died March 30, 2020, at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis. She had underlying medical conditions.

Update: The COVID-19 case data OHA publishes once a day on its website and shares once a day with the media are provisional and subject to change. A case reported yesterday as a Deschutes County case has been updated today to Washington County.



The State of Oregon expects a shipment of personal protective equipment (PPE) today from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Once received, the personnel at the fully operational PPE Distribution Center in Wilsonville will begin processing and shipping those supplies to all 36 counties and 9 tribes in Oregon.

“Having an adequate supply of PPE—masks, gowns, and gloves––is essential for the safety of first responders and health care workers,” said Andrew Phelps, director of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM). “We’re currently in a global shortage, but Oregon is working to replenish our supplies of PPE through public and private partnerships, distribute those supplies to all 36 counties in Oregon, and ensure health care workers and first responders are protected.”
As of midday today, the state of Oregon has distributed:

Over 1 million gloves
10,000 face shields
Over 400,000 N95 masks
Over 50,000 surgical masks
OEM’s Emergency Coordination Center, which is managing Oregon’s response, plans to ship PPE to each county and Oregon’s 9 tribes, for allocation. Counties are expected to receive shipments by or before April 6.
“Even with the arrival of PPE and critical care supplies for our front line workers, all Oregonians need to continue working together and take preventative action to flatten the curve to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Phelps added. “By staying in your home, you are helping to flatten the curve. Ultimately, slowing the spread of COVID-19 directly helps to slow the demand for PPE.”
Updated information on the State’s response to COVID-19 is available at https://govstatus.egov.com/or-covid-19.
Phelps’ regular briefings can be viewed https://oregon-
coronavirus-geo.hub.arcgis.com/
.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

COVID-19 has claimed 2 more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll from 16 to 18, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority also reported 84 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 690, as of 8 a.m. today. The COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (3), Clackamas (10), Douglas (1), Hood River (1), Jackson (1), Klamath (1), Lane (4), Lincoln (1), Linn (1), Malheur (1), Marion (18), Multnomah (16), Polk (3), Umatilla (1), Wallowa (1), Wasco (2), Washington (18), and Yamhill (2). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Oregon’s seventeenth COVID-19 death is a 90-year-old man in Yamhill County, who tested positive on March 25, 2020, and died on March 29, 2020, at Providence Newberg Medical Center. He had underlying medical conditions.

Oregon’s eighteenth COVID-19 death is an 88-year-old woman in Benton County, who tested positive on March 26, 2020, and died March 30, 2020, at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis. She had underlying medical conditions.

Update: The COVID-19 case data OHA publishes once a day on its website and shares once a day with the media are provisional and subject to change. A case reported yesterday as a Deschutes County case has been updated today to Washington County.

Oregon Health Authority gains flexibility in its Medicaid program to better serve low-income Oregonians during COVID-19 pandemic

The Oregon Health Authority has received flexibility from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to remove barriers for Oregonians to qualify for, enroll in, and stay enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan (OHP). Oregon has also received flexibility for providers to provide care to members as the state responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly one in four Oregonians currently receives health coverage through OHP.

“The COVID-19 pandemic requires us to act quickly to support the needs of our communities,” said Patrick Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority. “This added flexibility in our Medicaid program is going to allow us to more quickly get people to access health care and expand our health system to meet the challenges of this public health emergency.”

The key areas of flexibility that Oregon will gain from this waiver include:

  • All members who are currently enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan will not lose coverage during this crisis. This includes coverage that is only state-funded (i.e. Cover all the Kids).
  • Individuals can sign up for OHP without having to verify their income (submit a pay stub) with their application. They will be able to self-attest, which will help Oregonians get access to OHP coverage more quickly.
  • Federal stimulus payments and increased unemployment payments will not affect OHP eligibility. They will not be counted during the application process or when members report a change in their household.
  • Oregon will have additional flexibility to add to its healthcare workforce, provide treatment in temporary sites, and for paying providers during this public health emergency.

Additional information and guidance related to COVID-19 for coordinated care organizations (CCOs) and providers serving OHP members is available on the OHA website. A fact sheet for OHP members about their coverage and COVID-19 can be downloaded on the OHP website in English and in Spanish.

Klamath County Public Health (KCPH) officials have announced a new COVID-19 case in the county. This brings the total case count to five, with one recovery and four active cases.

The information was not in today’s statewide tally, as KCPH personnel learned of the positive test after the formalizing of Monday numbers at 8 a.m. It will be released by the state tomorrow. Oregon Health Authority releases daily numbers, compiled by 8 a.m. each day, during the noon hour.

Contact tracing is underway. This case is thought to be community spread. Once Public Health is aware of a positive case, it works with the individual to determine close contacts who might be at risk. Possible times and areas of exposure are also announced when known. Those individuals who may have been exposed are given instructions and next steps to prevent further exposure within the community.

People who have had a fever, dry cough, or difficulty breathing are asked to remain home until 72 hours after the symptoms stop, without the use of medication. Anyone needing medical help is asked to call ahead so protective measures can be taken. Individuals with life-threatening symptoms should go to the emergency room.

“Our highest priority is the health and safety of our community. We will take all steps necessary to ensure safety while also holding to our core value of integrity. We will not release the name, address or other identifying information about these people,” said Jennifer Little, KCPH director. “It is a matter of patient confidentiality.”

In Klamath County, the expectation is that these individuals and their families be able to recover without being the targets of social media attacks and the stigmatization that has occurred in other Oregon communities.

The best way to prevent the spread of germs is to:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick. Call before seeking medical care.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Monday March 30, 2020

2 New COVID-19 Cases in Klamath County, includes the first potential community-spread case.

Thank you! Today we wanted to take a moment to thank you, our Coronavirus Update subscribers. We’ve been working to keep you informed with the most up-to-date health resources and information to help keep you, your family and all of Oregon safe. You can help us make sure we’re delivering the information you need most when you want it by filling out a quick survey. We’re hoping to find out what updates you want to see more of and how frequently. You’ll also have the chance to share any ideas you have about what we could do with the newsletter to serve you better.
Recipes you can make with what you have on hand On a regular day, cooking can be a challenge. These days, you might be running low on time and energy, not to mention ingredients. Food Hero, an initiative of the Oregon Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education, has some resources that can help. Its searchable database has plenty of quick, tasty, healthy and low-cost recipes. You can search by a particular ingredient you have on hand or sort by category (including five ingredients or less, 30 minutes or less, kid-approved and others). Food Hero is also offering free online gardening lessons for kids and adults.
Oregon reports 69 new COVID-19 cases PORTLAND, Ore.— Oregon Health Authority reported 69 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 548, as of 8 a.m. today. No new deaths were reported. The number of COVID-19 deaths in Oregon remains at 13, as of 8 a.m. today. The new COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Clackamas (3), Deschutes (3), Hood River (1), Jackson (11), Josephine (1), Klamath (2), Lane (1), Linn (4), Marion (15), Multnomah (10), Polk (2), Tillamook (1), Wasco (1), Washington (14). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirusStay informed about COVID-19: Oregon response: The Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Office of Emergency Management lead the state response. United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response. Global response: The World Health Organization guides the global response.

Oregon Health Authority reported 69 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 548, as of 8 a.m. today. No new deaths were reported. The number of COVID-19 deaths in Oregon remains at 13, as of 8 a.m. today.

 The new COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Clackamas (3), Deschutes (3), Hood River (1), Jackson (11), Josephine (1), Klamath (2), Lane (1), Linn (4), Marion (15), Multnomah (10), Polk (2), Tillamook (1), Wasco (1), Washington (14). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

 Update: The 93-year-old man whose death was reported yesterday had an underlying condition. The data posted once a day on the Oregon Health Authority’s website and shared once a day with the media are provisional and may be updated as more information becomes available after the daily reporting.

OVID-19 has claimed one more life in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 12, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority also reported 98 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 414, as of 8 a.m. today. The COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Clackamas (10), Columbia (1), Deschutes (3), Douglas (1), Jackson (2), Klamath (1), Lane (2), Linn (2), Marion (26), Morrow (1), Multnomah (22), Polk (4), Umatilla (1), Wasco (1), Washington (18), Yamhill (4). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Oregon’s 12th COVID-19 death is an 82-year-old woman in Marion County. She tested positive on March 20 and died March 25 at Salem Hospital. She had underlying medical conditions.

Video linkDawn Mautner, senior health advisor at Oregon Health Authority, explains the increase in case numbers during an internal agency briefing today.

Stay informed about COVID-19:

COVID-19 has claimed 1 more life in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 11.

Oregon Health Authority also reported 50 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 316 known cases as of Friday morning.

The COVID-19 cases reported are in the following counties: Clatsop (1), Deschutes (5), Josephine (2), Lane (2), Linn (1), Marion (14), Multnomah (12), Polk (3), Tillamook (1), Wasco (1), and Washington (8). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website and today new demographic information was added: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Oregon’s eleventh COVID-19 death is a 69-year-old woman in Washington County, who tested positive on 3/15/2020, and died 3/25/2020 at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. She had underlying medical conditions.

Oregon releases health care system action plan to fight COVID-19

New projections show social distancing must be maintained to protect the health care system

The fight against the coronavirus depends on Oregon hospitals having enough beds to treat the coming surge in patients who will become seriously ill with the virus. Today, Oregon health officials and hospitals announced a joint statewide action plan to dramatically bolster the state’s ability to treat people with COVID-19 illness who need hospital care.

The plan was developed by the “Governor’s Joint Task Force for Health Care Systems Response to COVID-19,” convened by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). It includes a broad range of health systems, health care providers, human services organizations, public health and public safety agencies, insurers and other organizations needed in the battle.

The plan addresses 4 urgent actions necessary to expand the health care system’s capacity and maintain its capability as Oregon braces for a projected spike in new coronavirus cases:

  1. Procure and distribute critical medical supplies, including personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers and ventilators.
  2. Optimize hospital capacity to be able to treat COVID-19 cases.
  3. Mobilize the health care workforce to respond to COVID-19.
  4. Maintain a unified, coordinated and transparent emergency response to COVID-19.

New projections of COVID-19 cases in Oregon show the state is at a critical moment in the fight against the disease. Social distancing measures could alter the trajectory of new infections, which gives Oregon’s health care system the chance to ramp up to meet the coming surge. But the state has little margin for error. A return to “business as usual” or slight differences in actual infection rates (compared to projected ones) could swamp hospitals with more coronavirus cases than they could treat.

Governor Brown said, “Hospital leaders and health officials are doing their part to find beds, secure supplies and protect health care workers. Oregonians can make a difference too: stay home and save lives. We all have a role to play in an unprecedented, unified effort across Oregon to stop the coronavirus from taking the tragic toll we’ve seen it claim elsewhere.”

State agencies, hospitals, and health care providers have already begun to implement the plan.

  • The state is collecting PPE for re-distribution to facilities in need.
  • Regional hospitals have signed mutual aid agreements to shift equipment, workforce, and patients from overburdened facilities to others with adequate capacity.
  • The state is working with providers to stand-up alternate care locations (such as the Oregon Medical Station), identify and develop new alternate care sites, enable ambulatory care centers to house patients and re-purpose long-term care facilities.
  • The state and hospitals are sharing hospital bed utilization data so hospitals can manage the use of beds and equipment across their region.
  • The state is developing childcare options for health care workers, so their work isn’t interrupted by school closings and family responsibilities.

OHA Director Patrick Allen said, “Oregon’s health care system began preparing for a pandemic years ago, which gave us a head start on this plan. From expanding testing to securing more ventilators for Oregon hospitals, we are united by a set of common strategies to save lives in every corner of the state.”

The latest models state health officials released today forecast the following outcomes for 3 different scenarios:

  • Return to business as usual: If Oregon lifted all the social distancing measures state leaders have instituted in recent weeks, there will be an estimated 15,000 cumulative infections by May 8th (within a range of 5,900-26,000). Approximately 1,100 people would need inpatient beds (850 AAC/250 ICU) across Oregon.
  • Maintain bans on large gatherings and indefinite school closures: There would be an estimated 6,100 cumulative infections by May 8th (within a range of 2,000-12,000) and 340 people will need inpatient beds (260 AAC/80 ICU).
  • Maintain aggressive interventions put into place on Monday, March 23rd (i.e.., Stay Home, Save Lives) with high public adherence: There will be an estimated 1,000 (within a possible range of 700-3,800) cumulative infections by May 8th. Under this scenario, hospitals would have to boost capacity by a smaller number of beds.

The models show that only aggressive interventions, like the Stay Home, Save Lives executive order Governor Brown issued on March 23rd, are predicted to decrease the number of active infections.

The models state health officials released today were prepared by the Institute for Disease Modeling. While similar to projections completed earlier by researchers at Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU), these newer models from IDM take into account the impact of community-level social distancing interventions, which were not incorporated into the OHSU study. Researchers from OHSU and other hospitals are collaborating with OHA to forecast the COVID-19 burden for their specific hospitals based on this information.

Dr. Dean Sidelinger, state health officer at OHA, said: “These projections tell us the sacrifices Oregonians are making right now can save lives. At the same time, they paint a dark picture of what could happen. We can’t afford to drop our guard.”

March 26, 2020

We are in a critical time for flattening the curve

Projections for new COVID-19 cases show that we’re at a critical moment in the fight against this virus. Social distancing could alter the trajectory of new infections, which will give Oregon’s health care system the chance to ramp up to meet demand. That’s why it is so important everyone takes the Stay Home, Save Lives executive order to heart. We have the power collectively to flatten the curve. We can do this together.

dotted line for divider

Health officials and hospitals announce COVID-19 hospital care action plan

The fight against COVID-19 depends on Oregon hospitals having enough beds to treat a surge in patients. Today, Oregon health officials and hospitals announced a statewide action plan to dramatically bolster the state’s ability to treat people with COVID-19 who need hospital care.The plan addresses four urgent actions necessary to expand the health care system’s capacity:

  • Procure and distribute critical medical supplies, including personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers and ventilators.
  • Optimize hospital capacity to be able to treat COVID-19 cases.
  • Mobilize the health care workforce to respond to COVID-19.
  • Maintain a unified, coordinated and transparent emergency response to COVID-19.

Read today’s press releasenew projections, and the Governor’s Joint Task Force for Health Care Systems Response to COVID-19 report.

dotted line for divider

Helping children cope with the stress they may be experiencing

Children often react to stressful events differently than adults. How the child in your life reacts will vary by age and experience. Children react in part on what they see from adults around them. When parents and caregivers can deal with an event calmly and confidently, they provide can provide strong support for the children in their lives.

You can find more resources and learn about how to support children of all ages by visiting CDC’s Helping Children Cope website.

dotted line for divider

Oregon Food Bank is ready to help support those affected by COVID-19

We know COVID-19 has caused uncertainty in many lives, but access to food shouldn’t be one. Pantries and food assistance sites remain open — with increased cleaning and changes in service to help minimize contact among groups of people.

If you’re sick and in need of food assistance, you can send someone else to pick up food at any of the Oregon Food Bank’s distribution sites. If you don’t have someone who can pick up food for you, call your local food bank for assistance. You can find contact information on the Oregon Food Bank website.

Additionally, our partners at @211info have information on more than 1,000 different food programs. For more information call 211 or visit https://www.211info.org/food

COVID-19 has claimed 1 more life in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll from 10 to 11, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8:00 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority also reported 50 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 316, as of 8:00 a.m. today. The COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Clatsop (1), Deschutes (5), Josephine (2), Lane (2), Linn (1), Marion (14), Multnomah (12), Polk (3), Tillamook (1), Wasco (1), and Washington (8). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website and today new demographic information was added: : www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Oregon’s eleventh COVID-19 death is a 69-year-old woman in Washington County, who tested positive on 3/15/2020 and died 3/25/2020 at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. She had underlying medical conditions.

The Oregon Health Authority is now releasing the daily situation status report, which is produced jointly with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. It details the overall picture of the COVID-19 outbreak and the response across government agencies. Read more here: https://govsite-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/SLdyToaAQ2i1P0EsaL7t_Oregon-COVID-19-SitStat-03-26-2020-FINAL.pdf

Klamath County Public Health (KCPH) officials have announced a second COVID-19 case in the county.

The information may not be in today’s statewide tally, as KCPH personnel learned of the positive test after the formalizing of Thursday numbers at 8 a.m. It will be released by the state tomorrow.

Contact tracing is underway. The individual is a healthcare worker. Employers assist in the investigation and contact tracing of healthcare workers who have COVID-19. All individuals with risk of exposure will be notified and given directions about next steps.

“Our highest priority is the health and safety of our community. We will take all steps necessary to ensure safety while also holding to our core value of integrity. We will not release the name, address or other identifying information about this person,” said Jennifer Little, KCPH director. “It is a matter of integrity to our team and patient confidentiality.”

Oregon Health Authority releases daily numbers, compiled by 8 a.m. each day, during the noon hour.

The best way to prevent the spread of germs is to:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick. Call before seeking medical care.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

In an attempt to answer frequently asked questions relating to the enforcement of the Governor’s Executive Order 20-12 “Stay Home, Save Lives,” the Oregon State Police is offering guidance. 

Is this martial law? 
No, not even close. There are no curfews and a person’s movements are not restricted under the Governor’s Executive Order. While details are offered in the order relating to social distancing, specific business closures and non-essential social gatherings- Oregonian’s movements are generally unrestricted.

Do I need documentation from my employer deeming me essential? 
No. The Governor’s Executive Order closes certain businesses, outlined in section (2). These businesses reflect operations that would make close contact difficult or impossible to avoid. Officers are not asking or looking for any type of special paperwork from your employer.

Do I need a special placard in my car, when going to work or if I drive for work? 
No. There is no special documentation or placards for people going to work or permitted activities.

Will I be pulled over for driving on the highway? 
Not for violation of the Governor’s Executive Order, which specifically outlines efforts to avoid large gatherings- not restrict the movement of Oregonians. If, however, you are committing a traffic violation or crime that would be enforced independent of the order, you may be stopped, like any other day.

Are the state lines closed and are there roadblocks? 
No, traffic is moving freely within Oregon and our border states. There are no roadblocks or restrictions of vehicle movement. Washington State is operating under a similar executive order from their Governor, so Oregonians should be aware of these provisions when traveling in their state.

If my business is closed, can I still go to work if my employer makes me? Won’t I be arrested? 
While the order prohibits the public from congregating at a closed business, the employer may still have work to do on-site. As long as employees are not conducting business that is prohibited by the Executive Order, it is okay to still be at the worksite. No “passes” or paperwork is required.

Are rest areas open? 
Yes, generally. Some rest areas are connected to parks, which are currently closed to comply with the Executive Order.

Are police arresting or ticketing people in public or in violation of the Governor’s Executive Order? 
People that violate the Governor’s Order in an Emergency Declaration could be arrested or cited, which is a C Misdemeanor- the lowest level of criminal conduct designation. All Oregon law enforcement is united on the premise that police action is extremely undesirable and we hope to educate Oregonians if congregating in violation of the Governor’s Order. Citation or arrest would be an extreme last resort if a person failed to comply with the lawful direction of a police officer.

What about my kids that may congregate in a place without my permission, like a skate park? 
Police know our children don’t often take their parent’s advice and may ignore direction when away. Like adults found to be congregating in a location, officers will likely approach the youths and educate them on the order. Citations and arrest are extremely unlikely, reserved for only the most extreme circumstances.

Can I still go hiking and fishing? 
Yes. Oregonians can still recreate outdoors if their recreational activity involves non-contact with others and they can maintain appropriate social distancing- which is defined as 6 feet or more from others. Oregonians and visitors to our state should be aware most campgrounds and boat ramps are closed, so you should research your plans before recreating.

Should I call 911 if I see people congregating? 
No. The level of this violation is not for reporting police, fire or medical emergencies through 911. People may choose to self-educate their fellow Oregonians or if a large gathering is noted, they may call their respective police agency’s non-emergency number.

March 25, 2020, State News

Stay home, save lives

Today we announced the largest number of new cases of COVID-19 in Oregon to date. As testing becomes more available, we will continue to see more cases. We are thinking about everyone who has has been affected by COVID-19, including those who have lost their lives. Staying home now will slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. Thank you for working with us to protect the health and safety of everyone in Oregon.

dotted line for divider

Medical professionals are needed to volunteer for SERV-OR

The health care workforce is a critical resource in the response to COVID-19. We encourage health professionals to volunteer in the fight against the virus. If you have ever thought about volunteering your time, energy and medical skills to a worthwhile and potentially life-saving cause, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), fellow health professionals and systems, and all Oregonians could use your help.  

To help, you can register with OHA’s State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Oregon (SERV-OR). Volunteers can join the State Managed Volunteer Pool (SMVP) for statewide deployments or their local Medical Reserve Corps unit (MRC) for local response.

Duties of volunteers can vary widely depending on the need. You may be asked to staff the Oregon Medical Station, help maintain a sterile healthcare environment, operate an information hotline, facilitate the mass dispensing of medications, or support administrative or logistical needs within the OHA Agency Operations Center, among many other tasks. Register at https://SERV-OR.org and learn more at SERV-OR’s frequently asked questions page.

People who are not medically licensed are encouraged to visit Oregon Emergency Management’s COVID-19 information page and complete the survey for finding other volunteer opportunities. https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/6c96b225a8424992b56e59400a30dab4

dotted line for divider

Testing capacity continues to increase

Over the past week, Oregon’s COVID-19 testing capacity has expanded as commercial testing has become more available.

We know many people are interested in testing out of concern for themselves and their loved ones. While we’ve authorized health care providers to use their discretion, we know they cannot order a test for everyone who wants one. They will continue to exercise their clinical judgement, as commercial labs work hard to ramp up their capacity. We simply don’t have all the testing capability we want.

If you have flu-like symptoms or have reason to think you might have COVID-19, let your healthcare provider know before you visit. This will help avoid exposing anyone else at the provider’s facility. Your provider may decide to have you first tested for other illnesses, like the flu, based on your possible exposure history and any other symptoms you might have.

For frequently asked questions about testing, go to OHA’s FAQs about coronavirus and search “testing.”

dotted line for divider

Oregon Health Authority and Department of Consumer and Business Services set expectations for insurers to remove barriers to telehealth services

Do you need to access physical health or mental health services and are wondering about telehealth coverage? Today the Oregon Health Authority and the Department of Consumer and Business Services provided guidance to insurers that they expect health insurance plans of all types to provide more health care services to their members through telehealth platforms and to encourage plan members to limit in-person health care services for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes the Oregon Health Plan and Oregon’s Public Employee Benefits Board (PEBB) and the Oregon Educators Benefits Board (OEBB) plans.

Read today’s press release and view the guidance.

COVID-19 has claimed 2 more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll from 8 to 10, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8:00 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority also reported 57 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 266, as of 8:00 a.m. today. The COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (2), Clackamas (4), Douglas (2), Jackson (1), Josephine (1), Lane (1), Lincoln (1), Linn (5), Marion (11), Multnomah (8), Washington (20), Yamhill (1). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Oregon’s ninth COVID-19 death is an 80-year-old woman in Clackamas County, who tested positive on 3/23/20, and died 3/24/2020 at Legacy Mt. Hood Medical Center. She had underlying medical conditions.

Oregon’s tenth COVID-19 death is a 73-year-old woman in Marion County, who tested positive on 3/22/20, and died 3/23/20 at Salem Hospital. She had underlying medical conditions.

State of Oregon News

Governor Kate Brown yesterday, in order to ensure all Oregonians have access to the health insurance they need during this unprecedented public health crisis, called on federal Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to open a special enrollment period for Oregonians to buy health insurance and apply for federal subsidies through HealthCare.gov. The open enrollment deadline passed on Dec. 15 and does not open again until November. 

“Many Oregonians are uninsured or underinsured and now find their families’ budgets significantly tightened due to this national emergency,” Brown said in a letter to Azar. “In order to remove any potential barriers that remain, it is critical for all Oregonians to have access to a special enrollment period.”

A widespread special enrollment period would allow anyone legally present in the United States to buy a private plan and apply for a subsidy to help afford it. The governor requested that the enrollment period open as soon as possible and last at least 30 days.

Oregon needs Azar to allow the special enrollment period via HealthCare.gov because the application consumers need for federal subsidies, and Oregon’s online system for selection of plans available through HealthCare.gov is run by the federal government. HealthCare.gov sells individual health insurance plans to Oregonians under an agreement with the state and in partnership with the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, a division of the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services.

“The Marketplace is our state’s pathway to coverage and federal subsidies,” said Chiqui Flowers, administrator of the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. “Until the federal government unblocks the gate to those options for all Oregonians, the only people who can enroll now are those who just lost other coverage or had another major qualifying event.”

The governor’s letter to Azar emphasized the importance of meeting the needs of income-strapped families during a national crisis. 

“Your administration has stressed the value of allowing Americans to make their own coverage choices. During open enrollment last fall, a moderate-income adult might have made a rational decision to skip coverage or buy one of the extremely limited, short-term plans now available under federal rules that currently are not required to cover testing for the novel coronavirus and waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment,” Governor Brown wrote. “A national emergency has changed conditions vastly, and those Oregonians deserve a chance to get the coverage they need.”

News From Klamath County March 24

Klamath County Government offices are closed to walk-in foot traffic.

As a precautionary measure, to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the Klamath County Government offices are closed to walk-in foot traffic effective Tuesday, March 24 – Tuesday, March 31.  County departments will continue to provide services to our citizens by appointment only.  Departments may be contacted via phone or email.  Klamath County Department Directory can be accessed here or go to www.klamathcounty.org.

Oregon News March 24

Oregon reports 3 new COVID-19 deaths, 18 new COVID-19 cases

PORTLAND, Ore. — COVID-19 has claimed three more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to eight, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority also reported 18 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 209, as of 8 a.m. today. The COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Clackamas (3), Clatsop (1), Jackson (1), Marion (2), Multnomah (4), and Washington (7). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Oregon’s sixth COVID-19 death is a 78-year-old man in Clackamas County, who tested positive on March 15 and died March 22 at Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center. He had underlying medical conditions.

Oregon’s seventh COVID-19 death is a 63-year-old man in Multnomah County, who had underlying medical conditions and was not hospitalized at the time of death. He tested positive on March 16 and died March 23.

Oregon’s eighth COVID-19 death is a 90-year-old woman in Washington County, who tested positive on March 19, and died March 23 at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. She had underlying medical conditions.

Stay home, save lives

Governor Kate Brown released a new executive order that takes additional steps to ensure Oregonians stay home in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.
You may have questions about what the details of this order mean for the businesses you go to or activities that you usually participate in. But in the simplest of terms, the order asks you to please stay home unless it’s absolutely necessary. In response to the Governor’s order, OHA director Patrick Allen stated:

We know what can happen if every Oregonian doesn’t do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19. We don’t have to do more than turn on our televisions or go on social media to see what’s happening in other parts of the world. We know that our hospitals will be overwhelmed. We know that vulnerable citizens will be particularly at risk to the most serious consequences of the virus.

We’re asking everyone to take these measures seriously. We can all do our part to protect the health of our communities. What you do today can save someone’s life.

dotted line for divider

Help us get the message out to all Oregonians to #StayHomeSaveLives

Looking for some simple do’s and don’ts under this new executive order? Wondering which businesses are open or closed? We have social media cards that you can download from OHA’s COVID-19 website and share. Help us make sure everyone has the basic information they need to make good decisions for their themselves and their families.

Stay home save lives
dotted line for divider

Governor Brown Tightens Social Distancing Measures, Tells Oregonians to “Stay Home, Save Lives”

Today Governor Kate Brown issued an executive order that included new prohibitions on non-essential social and recreational gatherings, shopping at certain businesses, playground and sport court closures, and new guidelines for childcare facilities. It also requires businesses not closed by the order to implement social distancing policies in order to remain open and requires workplaces to implement teleworking and work-at-home options when possible. The order only permits activities outside the home when social distance is maintained.

A short description of what’s allowed and not allowed as well as today’s press release can be found on Governor Brown’s COVID-19 webpage.

dotted line for divider

Oregon reports 30 new COVID-19 cases

Oregon Health Authority reported 30 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 191, as of 8 a.m. today. The new COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Clackamas (2), Hood River (1), Linn (1), Marion (8), Multnomah (2), Polk (2), Washington (14). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Governor Kate Brown today issued Executive Order 20-12, directing everyone in Oregon to stay at home to the maximum extent possible and adding to the list of businesses that will be temporarily closed to stem the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon. The order is effective immediately, and remains in effect until ended by the Governor.

“We are learning more about this virus and how people react to it every day. Not just from a medical standpoint, but from a social and behavioral standpoint.

“I started by asking Oregonians to stay home and practice social distancing. Then I urged the public to follow these recommendations. Instead, thousands crowded the beaches of our coastal communities, our trails, our parks, and our city streets, potentially spreading COVID-19 and endangering the lives of others across the state. Now, I’m ordering it. To save lives and protect our community.”

“Today, I am issuing a new executive order further requiring social distancing measures because we know this is the most effective way to flatten the curve and slow the spread of this virus. I hope everyone in Oregon abides by its core message: stay home unless absolutely necessary.

“Staying home both keeps you safe from infection, and ensures you do not unknowingly infect others.

“We’ve already put a number of measures forward specifically aimed at increasing hospital capacity, such as cutting down on non-emergency care so we conserve masks, gloves, and gowns to save the lives of the health care workers who are working so hard to save others. All of these things add up, and by slowing the infection rate, we preserve hospital beds so that there will be one available if and when you need it.

“None of us have ever been through this before, and that means there is no way to know exactly what lies ahead. We don’t know yet when this outbreak will end, or what changes this will bring for our state and for our country. But I want to make sure that we’ve done all we can to end it as quickly as possible.”

About the order:

  • All non-essential social and recreational gatherings of individuals are prohibited immediately, regardless of size, if a distance of at least six feet between individuals cannot be maintained. Gatherings of members of the same residential household are permitted.
  • It closes and prohibits shopping at specific categories of retail businesses, for which close personal contact is difficult to avoid, such as arcades, barber shops, hair salons, gyms and fitness studios, skating rinks, theaters, and yoga studios.
  • It requires businesses not closed by the order to implement social distancing policies in order to remain open, and requires workplaces to implement teleworking and work-at-home options when possible.
  • It directs Oregonians to stay home whenever possible, while permitting activities outside the home when social distance is maintained.
  • It closes playgrounds, sports courts, and skate parks, among other types of outdoor recreation facilities. Those that remain open are required to strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines.
  • It outlines new guidelines for child care facilities, setting limits and rules on amounts of children allowed in care, and outlining that child care groups may not change participants.
  • Failure to comply with the order will be considered an immediate danger to public health and subject to a Class C misdemeanor.


Following this order will save lives, while still allowing businesses to function if they can protect employees and customers through social distancing. While many businesses and organizations that are heavily dependent on foot traffic and in-person interactions have already closed or will close under the expanded order, other businesses that make robust plans to meet social distancing requirements—and enforce those requirements—may remain in operation, preserving jobs while ensuring health.

This distinction from closing all businesses except for those categorized as essential as mandated in other states, aims to minimize unintended consequences and add clarity for businesses who can adjust their business models to accommodate vital social distancing measures.

“This order is designed to flatten the curve over the coming weeks, preserving scarce hospital space and equipment. It will also ensure that any place of business that remains operational does its part to enforce social distancing rules,” said Governor Brown. “It is designed to be more sustainable over time, to allow Oregonians to keep their jobs when their work does not add to the growth of COVID-19 in Oregon.”

Retail businesses closed by Executive Order 20-12 include:

  • Shopping: Outdoor and indoor malls and retail complexes, although individual types of businesses not subject to the measures may stay open.
  • Fitness: Gyms, sports and fitness centers, health clubs, and exercise studios
  • Grooming: Barbershops, beauty and nail salons, and non-medical wellness spas
  • Entertainment: Theaters, amusement parks, arcades, bowling alleys, and pool halls


Other retail businesses will not be able to continue to operate unless they can implement strict social distancing measures and designate an employee or officer charged with ensuring compliance. Retail businesses able to adapt to take-out style shopping experiences can also remain open. If businesses can have employees work from home, then they must do so. Many of the businesses outlined in the order have voluntarily closed their doors already, to do their part to protect Oregon’s communities. In addition, non-retail businesses like manufacturers and the construction industry must ensure that their employees are maintaining social distancing measures.

Please read the full details on all businesses listed in the executive order here.

In addition to businesses, Executive Order 20-12 also orders state executive branch offices and buildings to close to the public and provide public services by phone to the extent possible. When public services require in-person interactions, the order requires social distancing measures to be implemented and enforced. State agencies must also facilitate telework and work-at-home for state employees whenever possible. While the order does not apply to local, federal, or tribal governments, those governments are strongly encouraged to follow these directives.

The order also directs state agencies to close parks and other outdoor spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained––expanding on actions already taken by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

All coronavirus executive orders will be posted on the Oregon Coronavirus Information and Resources Page after they have been issued and signed.

State of Oregon

Counties and Tribes receive $4M in state funding to fight coronavirus

The Oregon Health Authority is distributing $4 million to Local Public Health Authorities (LPHA), Tribes and Native American Rehabilitation Association (NARA – the Urban Indian Health Program in Oregon) to support their COVID-19 response. Approved by the Oregon Legislature’s Emergency Board on March 9, this funding is critical to provide support to those doing the frontline work at the local level across the state.

Read more about the funding distribution for each entity in OHA’s press release.

dotted line for divider

Make a donation, offer services or volunteer to support COVID-19 response

In support of the COVID-19 response, the Oregon Office of Emergency Management and the State Emergency Coordination Center has established a web page where Oregonians can submit requests to donate services or supplies, volunteer to support or to engage in a business relationship with the state

“We need to rely on our resources and skills to get through this together, and we appreciate people and businesses stepping up to help out in response to this crisis,” said Andrew Phelps OEM Director. “This site better enables the state to accept the appropriate donations, services, and volunteers to help meet the needs of this response. It is a difficult situation, but I am proud of the way Oregonians have come together to support each other and our state.”

The biggest need right now is for Personal Protective Equipment, such as masks, gloves, and gowns.

You can also access COVID-19 information and links to resources here.

dotted line for divider

Red Cross faces a blood shortage due to blood drive cancellations

Blood drives are being canceled across the state, leaving blood supplies dangerously low. Healthy people are needed to help patients counting on lifesaving blood. The Red Cross is practicing sanitizing and social distancing policies to ensure you’re safe while donating. Schedule an appointment today.

dotted line for divider

Which underlying health conditions make you more at risk for severe illness from COVID-19?

You’ve likely heard that older adults and those with underlying health conditions are more at risk for severe illness from COVID-19. People with underlying health conditions are counting on all of us to help protect their health. If you or someone you know has any of the following medical conditions, they may be at increased risk, no matter their age:

  • Lung disease, including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (chronic bronchitis or emphysema) or other chronic conditions associated with impaired lung function or that require home oxygen
  • Compromised immune system (immunosuppression) (e.g., seeing a doctor for cancer and treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation, receiving an organ or bone marrow transplant, taking high doses of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressant medications, HIV with a CD4 count <200)
  • Blood disorders (e.g., sickle cell disease or on blood thinners)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Current or recent pregnancy (in the last two weeks)
  • Endocrine disorders (e.g., diabetes)
  • Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)
  • Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure, and coronary artery disease)
  • Neurological and neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions
dotted line for divider

Oregon reports 1 COVID-19 death, 24 new COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 has claimed another life in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll from four to five. The Oregon Health Authority also reported 24 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 161, as of 8:00 a.m. today.

The COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (2), Clackamas (1), Deschutes (1), Lane (1), Marion (3), Multnomah (1), Washington (13) and Yamhill (2). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Oregon’s one COVID-19 death in Linn County is a veteran in his 90’s, who tested positive on March 11 and died this morning at the Oregon Veterans Home. He had underlying medical conditions.

“Our hearts are heavy,” said ODVA Director Kelly Fitzpatrick. “This resident was a veteran who served our nation with honor and dignity in its hour of need. He was also a beloved member of our Lebanon community, and he will be deeply and truly missed. On behalf of everyone at the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Oregon Veterans’ Home, we offer our sincere condolences to his family and loved ones. We grieve with them.”

National News

World Statistics
The death toll from the global coronavirus pandemic has surpassed 12,994 people worldwide and sickened more than 300,000.

United States Statistics
Confirmed Cases.  27,137
Deaths in the U.S. 349

More than 195,000 Americans have now been tested.

In front of the media on Friday evening, Oregon Governor Kate Brown indicated plans to implement a ‘Stay at Home’ order starting soon, although no order has been officially put in place as of Sunday morning.

While no official order was made Friday night by Governor Brown, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury the three said they were working on details, which the state planned on announcing soon.  Mayors from many Portland area cities are urging the Governor to make a much stronger stance against the virus as has been done in California, New Jersey, Illinois and New York.

“I’m directing Oregonians tonight to stay home, stay healthy. It’s both an order and public health directive,” stated the Governor.

It remained unclear if the coming stay at home order would impact all of Oregon, or specifically hard hit areas.

Officials did say the order would look similar to the one enacted in California. In California, several businesses are now closed including bars, nightclubs, gyms, convention centers, dine-in restaurants, and entertainment venues.

While Governor Brown did not elaborate much on which businesses would be asked to close under an Oregon stay at home order, she did share praise for theaters and gyms which have already elected to close in an effort to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

In the meantime, Governor Brown reiterated her recommendation to all Oregonians to stay at home through the weekend, urging people to only go out for essential business such as picking up a prescriptions or groceries.

The Oregon Health Authority announced another person has died from COVID-19 on Saturday, raising the state’s death total to four.

A 72-year-old woman in Marion County, who tested positive on March 15 died on Friday at Kaiser Permanente Sunnyside Medical Center, health officials said. She had underlaying medical conditions.

The Oregon Health Authority also reported 23 new cases of COVID-19 overnight, bringing the state total to 137.

The breakdown of COVID-19 cases in Oregon is as follows:

  • Benton County: 2
  • Clackamas County: 11
  • Deschutes County: 9
  • Douglas County: 1
  • Grant County: 1
  • Jackson County: 2
  • Klamath County: 1
  • Lane County: 3
  • Linn County: 19
  • Marion County: 19
  • Multnomah County: 18
  • Polk County: 1
  • Umatilla County: 2
  • Union County: 1
  • Washington County: 42
  • Yamhill County: 4

We are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to bring you updates as more information becomes available to us at BasinLife.com.

State of Oregon March 20, 2020, 11:00 AM

Oregon reports 26 new COVID-19 cases

Oregon Health Authority reported 26 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 114, as of 8:30 a.m. today, March 20. The COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Clackamas (4), Deschutes (2), Grant (1), Linn (1), Marion (4), Multnomah (5), Union (1), Washington (6), Yamhill (2). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Oregon reports 13 new COVID-19 cases; state prepares Oregon Medical Station

Oregon Health Authority reported 13 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 88. The COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Linn (2), Marion (5), Multnomah (4) and Washington (2). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

State prepares Oregon Medical Station

The Oregon Health Authority, together with the Oregon Military Department, is assembling the Oregon Medical Station (OMS) beginning Friday, March 19, at the Salem Fairgrounds. The OMS is a temporary mobile facility dedicated to emergency use in situations like the COVID-19 pandemic. The mobile facility will provide an alternate site for 250 patients currently in nursing home care.

The OMS is one component of Oregon’s larger emergency preparedness plan. Here is a snapshot of the facility:

  • It will include beds, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and equipment to support 250 patients.
  • It will be staffed by members of the State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Oregon (SERV-OR) and the Oregon Disaster Medical Team (ODMT).
  • It will have staffing for 24/7 operations.
  • It will be housed in the Jackson Long building at the Salem Fairgrounds in a state-owned building.
  • It will use dedicated supplies that have been stored in Salem at the State and Federal Surplus Property.

Military members from the Oregon Military Department, SERV-OR and ODMT have previous joint training experience for disaster-type events. All three groups have participated in an annual exercise known as Pathfinder-Minuteman, which presents multiple scenarios where first responders have causalities in need of immediate medical treatment.

Stay informed about COVID-19:

Oregon response: The Oregon Health Authority leads the state response.

United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response.

Global response: The World Health Organization guides the global response.

Oregon Arts Step Up!

Laser-focused on their missions despite thousands of canceled performances, events and activities, Oregon’s arts and culture organizations are furiously working to continue serving Oregonians: Online.

A recent live-streamed performance by Cappella Romana, produced by Portland Baroque Orchestra, has now been viewed by more than 80,000 people. In a lightning speed response, Portland Baroque today revised its mission temporarily to support other arts organizations and artists as a live-streaming operation.

 “We never cease to be amazed by the creativity and resiliency of Oregon’s cultural community,” said Brian Rogers, executive director of the Oregon Arts Commission and the Oregon Cultural Trust. “Their financial losses due to the health crisis are staggering, yet they are actively finding ways to engage our citizens, providing inspiration and respite during these very challenging times.”

“Our goal is to keep as many artists working as possible, and to serve the greater community with extraordinary art,” said Abigail McKee, the executive director of Portland Baroque Orchestra. “The arts allow us all to transcend what is happening immediately around us, step outside of ourselves, and be a part of something bigger. PBO has the technology, and we believe it is our responsibility to share it.” More information, including how arts organizations can request a Livestream, can be found at PBO.org.

Other examples of online experiences include daily “how-to” video craft projects at the Pendleton Center for the Arts and a live weekly Music and Movement YouTube show hosted for young children by the One World Chorus. The Youth Music Project is encouraging youth to join its The Power of Music Virtual Concert Series by posting photos or videos of planned or spontaneous performances with hashtag #YMPPowerOfMusic.

In Central Oregon, a new website is dedicated to supporting online offerings and resources by local cultural groups. “The coronavirus pandemic is now touching every part of daily life, including our creative life, but we are a strong and caring community,” said René Mitchell, the founding director of Scalehouse, a member-supported non-profit arts organization located in Bend’s At Liberty Arts Collaborative. “This helps us stay connected during this trying time and supports the people who create so much beauty in each of our lives,” said Mitchell.

Below is a sample alphabetical list of organizations with online offerings, with many more to come:

The Architecture Foundation of Oregon has compiled a list of free at-home design lessons available for all who need them. Included are several of their Architects in Schools lessons and activities. They are also working to post several guided lesson videos hosted by dedicated members of the design community.

Following the cancellation of its ART Gala 2020, Artists Repertory Theatre asked patrons to do a virtual paddle raise by making a tax-deductible donation online.

At Liberty Arts Collaborative in Bend is planning to post a virtual tour of its current exhibition, “Jim Riswold: Russians & Americans & One Italian.”

Bullseye Glass Co. has posted general knowledge information about glass as an art form, and artist interviews as well as exhibition catalogs including Act 2, which tells the story of people who have taken up a new artwork medium later in life. Artist talks, conference sessions, and exhibition are posted on their Vimeo channel

Cappella Romana recently presented a live performance of Tchaikovsky’s “Divine Liturgy” on Facebook Live (produced by Portland Baroque); the performance is now available here and has reached more than 80,000 peopleYou can also access the program book.

The Drexel H. Foundation in Vale, Oregon, is launching a Yard Art Competition to encourage youth and families to embrace art and a positive message: “Kindness.” The winner will receive a $100 cash prize.

Grants Pass Museum of Art is creating a virtual tour and online slide show of its upcoming exhibition “Best of the Best,” an annual show that features student artwork from 14 Southern Oregon high schools. The show will is scheduled to post on the Museum’s website beginning April 7.

The Land Trust Alliance has created a thread in its Ask-an-Expert Discussion Forum to share best practices and lessons learned.

Literary Arts’ The Archive Project, a partnership with OPB, features engaging talks, lectures, and readings from more than 35 years of Literary Arts programming in Portland. 

Metropolitan Youth Symphony Music Director Raul Gomez is doing Virtual Hangouts with students during regularly scheduled Saturday rehearsal time. Gomez provides a view of the score, plays recordings and tells stories about the composer while taking live chat questions from students. Here is a link to the first session on March 14.

In addition to its Dear Oregon blog, and many digital content platforms, The Oregon Historical Society is inviting Oregonians to document this important moment in history by sharing their real-time thoughts. What stories of Oregonians from the past or present are giving you courage? How are you spending your days in this strange new “normal?” What have you learned about yourself, your friends and your family that is giving you strength amidst the chaos? Mail entries to 1200 SW Park Avenue, Portland OR 97205.

As a reminder of the political process still underway, Oregon Humanities invites Oregonians to share the things they’re keeping in their hearts and minds for the upcoming elections in Oregon and across the nation through Dear Stranger, a letter-exchange project that connects Oregonians from different parts of the state through the mail.

The Oregon Humanities Center at the University of Oregon produces an interview show called UO Today. Distinguished scholars and UO professors and administrators sit down for a half-hour interview about their work. The shows are posted on our YouTube channel and recently as podcasts. The channel also features lectures given by guest speakers.

The One World Chorus is launching an online Music & Movement program for pre-K through early elementary-aged youth. The program, to air live at 10:30 a.m. on Fridays on YouTube, is called The Big Up Show. Here is a preview episode.

The School of Arts and Communication at Oregon State University will showcase student work and virtual exhibitions for graduating BFA students in the coming weeks and months on its Instagram account. The goal is to have as many eyes on student work as possible.

The Pendleton Center for the Arts is posting online tours of its galleries and how-to craft projects for all ages. They hope to post one or two activities per day.

The Portland Area Theatre Alliance set up a valentine fund for individual theatre artists

Portland Baroque Orchestra is temporarily changing its mission to offer free live-streaming services to other Portland-area arts organizations (with flexibility about other locations, too). They will provide a live-streaming kit. Viewership of their events (which included a Cappella Romana performance, has already exceeded 100,000 people.

While Portland Piano International fans will wait until August for postponed Anderson & Roe concerts, they can view a video chat by the artists now.

Portland Radio Project announced that Jeremy Wilson, a Portland musician and a founder of the Jeremy Wilson Foundation (JWF) Musicians Emergency Healthcare Fund, is rallying the local community to aid with the financial and medical burdens that the outbreak of COVID-19 is bringing on music professionals in Oregon. JWF started a GoFundMe campaign and you can find details here. Please visit the GoFundMe page to donate.

The Risk-Reward Festival has announced a live stream of Unit Souzou’s performance at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 21. Risk/Reward is producing the full-length version of this piece in the fall.

Oregon Poet Laureate Kim Stafford has posted readingsa poetry filmpoems accompanied on harp by Bethany Lee and a recent interview with the Oregon State Poetry Festival. He also has poems and photographs posted on Instagram with interactive poetry activities to come.

The High Desert Museum is giving the community a regular glimpse into the Museum with a Museum Moment on its Facebook page every Tuesday and Thursday at 1 p.m.

The Youth Music Project is encouraging young people to grab an instrument (or any rhythm-making object) and post a photo or video of their brilliant home performance with hashtag #YMPPowerOfMusic to join The Power of Music Virtual Concert Series.

Washed Ashore’s newest sculpture, a California Condor made from marine debris, will be placed in Portland’s Oregon Zoo in April. A full-length movie about Washed Ashore is posted here. Their work was recently featured in The New York Times.

The Community Center for the Performing Arts at the W.O.W. Hall will present LIVE STREAM: Full Moonalice: The Time Has Come Revue (Moonalice + T Sisters + The New Chambers Brothers)from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25.

Governor Kate Brown Announces New Order to Preserve Surgical Masks, Gowns, and Gloves

Portland, OR—Governor Kate Brown today directed all Oregon hospitals, outpatient clinics, and health care providers, including veterinarians and dentists, to cease all non-emergency procedures, in order to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE), such as surgical masks, gowns, and gloves, for health care workers treating COVID-19 patients.

The forthcoming order also limits visitation in hospitals to protect health care workers and at-risk patients from the spread of COVID-19.

“It is critical that we preserve every piece of personal protective equipment we have in Oregon so that our health care workers can keep themselves safe while treating COVID-19 patients,” said Governor Brown. “If we do not take immediate action, the surge in demand in our hospitals for masks, gowns, and gloves will quickly outstrip the limited supplies they have available. We cannot let that happen. I want to thank the health care providers––including dentists, veterinarians, and others––who have already preserved and donated their critical supplies.”

Governor Kate Brown Announces New Executive Order For Higher Education Institutions

Portland, OR—Governor Kate Brown today announced an executive order directing Oregon’s higher education institutions to move their curriculum to online learning, prohibiting in-person classroom interactions through April 28 as a way to prevent transmission of COVID-19.

“I know students have worked hard this school year, and we’re doing everything we can to help them safely finish their learning. But we’re also learning more about this disease every day, and social distancing is key to keeping Oregonians safe,” said Governor Brown. “I understand there are seniors getting ready to graduate this spring, and I want to assure them that our universities and community colleges are working hard to make sure they can get their diplomas.”

The executive order also limits on-campus operations to critical functions, such as dining services and dormitories — all of which are directed to employ social distancing — as a way to ensure students have a safe place to live and eat, since some may not otherwise have housing options.

“Governor Brown’s clear guidance will help Oregon’s colleges and universities statewide to move forward into spring term with the utmost priority placed on the health of our communities, while they continue their educational missions during this extraordinarily hard time,” said Ben Cannon, director of Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission. “The students, faculty, and staff who are impacted by these changes should know that the important roles they play in this transformation are all critical to helping slow the growth of COVID-19. Shifting almost entirely too remote delivery will help ensure that Oregon’s colleges and universities can continue to prepare thousands of students with degrees and certificates they are working so hard to achieve.”

“In this difficult time, we deeply appreciate Governor Kate Brown’s commitment to helping support Oregon students’ progress to a college degree as all of us collaborate to reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19,” said Ed Ray, president, Oregon State University.

Governor Kate Brown today announced an extension of Oregon’s statewide school closure to a total of six weeks, until April 28, and also issued further guidance for Oregon’s public schools. This follows on an initial two-week closure of Oregon’s schools to end on March 31.

The orders, outlined in Executive Order 20-08, are as follows:

– Schools are to remain closed through Tuesday, April 28, 2020.

– Districts are to provide learning supports and supplemental services to students and families during the closure period, including meals and child care. This includes the delivery of food assistance and offering child care for essential health care professionals and first responders.

– School districts may call on public school educators and employees to deliver limited learning and support services.

– Each district will pay all their regular employees during the closure.

– The Oregon Department of Education, Oregon Health Authority, and Department of Human Services are directed to support public schools in the continuity of mental health services.

“I do not take the decision to extend school closures lightly,” said Governor Brown. “This will have real impacts on Oregon’s students, parents, and educators. But we must act now to flatten the curve and slow the rate of COVID-19 transmission in Oregon, otherwise, we face a higher strain on our medical system and greater loss of life to this disease.”

Governor Kate Brown today also signed the following executive orders that she announced yesterday :

– Executive Order 20-07: Prohibiting on-premises consumption of food or drink and gatherings of more than 25 people

– Executive Order 20-06: Declaration of Abnormal Disruption of the Market Due to COVID-19

All three executive orders take effect immediately.

A complete list of Governor’s executive orders to date can be found here, and Governor Brown’s news releases are posted here.

An open letter to Oregon: You can stop coronavirus in Oregon

Patrick Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority

Our fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) has entered a stark new phase. Over the weekend, the first Oregonian lost his life to the virus. Each day, COVID-19 appears in more counties, more communities. Yesterday, Governor Brown took additional extraordinary actions to stop the spread of the virus – limiting public gatherings, restricting restaurants to take out and delivery service and extending school closures.

Social distancing measures are urgent and necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19

These sweeping actions will create profound disruption and hardship in all our daily lives. The impact of these decisions will ripple through homes, schools, communities across Oregon – and through our state economy. These restrictions will demand unprecedented sacrifice from all of us. But they are urgent, necessary and justified in the face of the COVID-19 threat. Every one of us must help. We all have the power to stop COVID-19 and save the lives of people we care about.

I know many Oregonians are worried about whether they or a loved one will get sick from the virus. Across the state, all of us fearful of the fallout from these actions and efforts across the nation to stop COVID-19.

Here’s what we know: Our current projections tell us that, if left unchecked, approximately 75,000 Oregonians could catch COVID-19 by mid-May. Without intervention, those numbers would rapidly continue to expand. No one is immune. There is no vaccine available to stop the virus. There is no treatment.

Most people who contract coronavirus (about 8 in 10) will experience mild symptoms, but during that time you could pass the virus on to others. Yet, Oregon’s hospitals do not have the capacity to treat the remaining 20 percent of patients who may need acute care if people all get sick at once.

We need to flatten the curve of new COVID-19 infections to protect our hospitals

If Oregon’s health care system is swamped by a sudden spike in cases, hospitals in communities across the state will not have enough beds and life-saving equipment, such as ventilators, to manage the crisis. Clinicians won’t be able to save everyone.

But there’s hope: The expanded ‘social distancing’ measures Governor Brown ordered today are designed to slow the spread of COVID-19 and blunt the looming spike in new cases. This is often called “flattening” the epidemiological curve – i.e., spread the number of cases out over time to protect hospitals so they can serve the patients who need them.

Oregon’s health care providers and public health officials have prepared for a pandemic. We have a plan. More than a decade ago hospitals and state health officials designed a blueprint to avert exactly the kind of potential catastrophe we are facing with COVID-19. That plan will help health care providers across Oregon:

  • Manage a surge in demand for medical care and quickly and dramatically expand the capacity to treat more patients.
  • Maintain critical functions.
  • Locate and secure alternate sites to deliver medical care.
  • Secure needed medical supplies, like protective equipment for health care workers.

And we’re putting that plan into action, in partnership with hospitals across Oregon.

You can slow the spread of COVID-19

But our ultimate success in preventing a catastrophe will depend on each of us taking responsibility for these basic actions.

  • All of us need to wash our hands for 20 seconds or more frequently throughout the day. Try to avoid touching your face. Avoid close contact with others (keep a distance of 3-6 feet), especially people who are sick. Work from home if you can.
  • If you are 60 years of age or older, avoid groups of people, including small family gatherings. Stay in your home as much as possible. People your age and above are at the greatest risk of being hospitalized. The same cautions apply for people who have other serious medical conditions (e.g., heart disease or diabetes). If you have a chronic medical condition, you are also at high risk, no matter what your age.
  • If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others. Talk to your health care provider if you want to be tested for COVID-19. Talk to your health care provider before you visit a clinic or hospital emergency department. It’s critical for all of us to make sure hospitals are seeing only those people who need hospital care.
  • If you are an employer, direct your employees to work from home if they can. Stagger schedules so fewer people are working together at one time. Send anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 home.
  • If you are a civic leader: Support protective social distancing actions. Use your voice to encourage people in your community to take responsible steps to stem the spread of COVID-19 among your neighbors.

COVID-19 testing is expanding, but it’s still not enough

We know many people are anxious to be tested for COVID-19. The reality is that Oregon’s state public health laboratory has received limited testing supplies from the federal government.

Oregon health officials have prioritized our limited testing resources for the sickest people and the people who are most at-risk. We know Oregonians would not want us to squander this vital resource indiscriminately.

We are doing all we can to open the testing pipeline. Several large hospitals have committed to begin testing. Outpatient clinicians are ordering tests from commercial laboratories. Those large commercial laboratories are reporting their results to OHA – we include their findings in our daily reports to the public.

However, it’s important for Oregonians to understand testing supplies remain limited due to federal decisions. While we’ve authorized outpatient clinicians to use their discretion, we know they cannot order a test for everyone who wants one. They will continue to exercise their clinical judgment, as commercial labs work hard to ramp up their capacity. We simply don’t have all the testing capabilities we want.

In the meantime, public health officials and our hospital partners will continue to focus our limited testing resources judiciously over the coming weeks, where they are most desperately needed. We will continue to keep Oregonians informed about our efforts to expand COVID-19 testing across the state.

We are all in this together

COVID-19 is in our communities. The virus does not discriminate. We cannot combat COVID-19 if we turn on each other or stigmatize people who test positive and become ill. That only puts sick people and the broader community at-risk because it discourages people from getting tested, getting care and staying home.

But it’s not too late to act. The measures we all take today – from Governor’s Brown’s urgent decisions to the actions each of us takes in our personal lives – will determine how many people our hospitals can treat, how many lives they can save and how long the pandemic will last. We know that places around the world have adopted strong social distancing measures have curbed the pace of new infections. In places that have been slow to act, new cases surged. Lives were lost that could have been saved.

Oregonians have always worked together to overcome daunting challenges. We will do it again to stem the spread of the coronavirus and save lives in our state.

Klamath Community College is making changes to its spring term schedule and course delivery and offerings to help slow the spread of COVID-19. In the two attached releases, please information about KCC extending spring break and moving many courses online for the first two weeks of the spring term.

Here is a synopsis of the changes that are being implemented in response to COVID-19:  

  • KCC will extend spring break one week. Spring term classes will begin Monday, April 6.
  • The first two weeks of spring term — April 6 through April 17 — will be in an online-only format for all in-person lecture classes, conducted via Canvas.
  • As of this time, the KCC campus will remain open for services during regular business hours. During the first two weeks of spring term, campus services for students will be open. 
  • CTE classes, apprenticeship classes, and labs will continue in-person, and faculty will implement social distancing measures. Classes and labs will begin on April 6. 
  • All KCC community education classes are canceled until further notice. 
  • Workforce development courses that were slated to start March 30 now have a delayed start date of April 20. 
  • GED and ESL will begin on April 6. Online GED and ESL courses are in development but are not yet available. 

Please let me know if you have any questions. These updates will be on our website shortly. Look for updates here: https://www.klamathcc.edu/en-US/About/News-and-Events/COVID-19

State announces 18 new COVID-19 cases

Oregon now has a total of 65 people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. The Oregon Health Authority announced 18 new cases of the novel coronavirus as of 10:30 a.m. today.

OHA is reporting 18 total new cases in the following counties: Clackamas (4), Linn (5), Marion (1), Multnomah (1) and Washington (7). Of the Linn County cases at the Oregon Veterans’ Home in Lebanon, four were previously reported by the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs in a media released last evening. These results came in after OHA updated its daily count. OHA updates it daily count on the website once a day.

Stay informed

Oregon response: The Oregon Health Authority leads the state response.

United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response.

Global response: The World Health Organization guides the global response.

March 17 Klamath Falls News Update

ALL KLAMATH COUNTY LIBRARIES
CLOSED UNTIL APRIL 1st
by Nathalie Johnston on March 17th, 2020

Klamath Falls, Oregon (March 17, 2020)—Effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020, all branches of Klamath County Library Service District are closed until April 1st. Currently, public health best practices to reduce the spread of COVID-19 include limiting access to public spaces. Additionally, due to staffing concerns, we have made the decision to follow public health guidance and close to the public.

As a public institution, we did not make this decision lightly. We recognize closure means some of the people who need us the most will not have access to library buildings. We know you care about your library staff. During the building closures, staff will continue to work and be paid. They will be available to help you via email or phone. You can call the main library at 541-882-8895 or email ref@klamathlibrary.org.

To protect employee health, we are following workplace guidelines from County health officials. While our physical spaces are closed, your Library card gives you access to a world of digital content and other services, including downloadable magazines, eBooks and audiobooks; streaming video; educational resources; and language tutorials. Visit https://klamathlibrary.org/ to access digital content.

You should also know:
• We will be extending holds and waiving overdue fees.
• You can still pick-up your holds and drop-off materials in the book drops. In order to pick-up, your holds you will need to call in your library for further instructions. The number will be posted at the library door and on the library website https://klamathlibrary.org/
• You can call your local library for help with placing holds
• Library events are canceled.
• The Bookie Joint is closed.
• Visit our website at https://klamathlibrary.org/coronavirus for COVID-19 information and resources. We will also post information on Facebook.

Your health and safety, as well as that of our staff, volunteers, and Friends of the Library is our top concern. Thank you for your patience as we modify operations during this unprecedented time.

City Offices Shut Down

Posted on: March 16, 2020

Governor announces new restrictions

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Monday afternoon that she plans to ban gatherings of more than 25 people for at least a month and restrict restaurants and other establishments to serving takeout and delivery food only.

Gov. Brown provided new social distancing procedures:

  • Cancellation of events larger than 25 people
  • Retail stores and businesses are exempt.
  • Avoid gatherings of 10 people or more
  • Restaurants, bars, and other food services will be reduced to take-out and delivery only.

Not complying with these items is a Class C misdemeanor.

Exemptions to the ban include grocery stores, pharmacies, retail stores and workplaces, Brown said in her prepared remarks at a press conference in northeast Portland.

At the same time, Brown urged Oregonians to avoid being around more than 10 people at a time and suggested businesses that can shut down completely should do so.

Klamath Basin News Updated March 16, 11 AM

Oregon Health Authority

Practice compassion
Closing schools, canceling highly anticipated events, and disrupting our daily routines by staying home and away from others causes stress for all of us. This is hard and important work. Take a deep breath. Remember, we are doing this to protect each other, the people we love, and the communities we call home.

How to talk to your kids about COVID-19 and school closures

With schools closed statewide starting tomorrow, March 16, we know families are experiencing a tough time. If your children are feeling anxious, please reassure them that health and school officials are working hard to keep everyone healthy and safe. For tips on talking to your children, here are three resources: Centers for Disease Control (CDC)National Association of School Psychologists Zero to Three

Meals for kids who depend on school breakfasts and lunches

School districts around the state are helping ensure children don’t go hungry during the school closures. Here are quick links to free meals for kids. See below for times and locations.
Klamath County School District
Klamath Falls City Schools
Bend-LaPine Schools
Corvallis School District
Eugene School District
Medford School District
Portland Public Schools
Salem-Keizer School District

New COVID-19 resources posted online daily

We continue to add educational resources and flyers to our website, on topics from cleaning tips for restaurants to fighting Coronavirus racism to updating our searchable FAQ table.

Blood banks need donations

Cold and flu season has already affected the nation’s ability to maintain its blood product supply. As the number of coronavirus cases grows in the U.S., the number of people eligible to give blood and platelets for patients in need could decrease further. Donating is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give or receive blood or platelets. Go to the Red Cross website to learn more. Go here to learn more.

3 new COVID-19 cases

Oregon now has a total of 39 people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. The Oregon Health Authority announced three new cases of the novel coronavirus as of 11 a.m. today, March 15.OHA is reporting 1 new case in Yamhill County, 1 new case in Deschutes County, and 1 new case in Linn County. The Yamhill County and Deschutes County cases are believed to be community-acquired. The case in Linn County is a staff member at the Oregon Veterans’ Home in Lebanon, which currently has nine residents who have tested positive. The employee was sent home when symptoms appeared and has remained in isolation ever since, in accordance with established infection prevention protocols and public health guidelines.

Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs is working closely with OHA to coordinate and prioritize testing for residents and staff at the Oregon Veterans’ Home in Lebanon.“Protecting our dedicated staff, along with our residents, has always been the highest priority. All infectious disease control precautions were, and continue to be, taken to mitigate the spread,” said ODVA Director Kelly Fitzpatrick. “I cannot speak highly enough of the herculean efforts these staff members have taken to continue to provide exceptional care to our honored residents even before this outbreak. They are truly going above and beyond, and all efforts are being made by ODVA, our state agency partners, and our Linn County partners to support them in their critical work.”Read the full press release for more details.

From the Desk of the Governor March 16, 10:15 AM

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said Monday morning that she is not ready to impose a curfew or broader shutdown on bars and restaurants, despite a new federal recommendation against events with 50 or more people for the next eight weeks.

Brown said her current position on imposing a curfew or ordering restaurants and bars to close temporarily was based at least in part by pushback from elected officials. In a Sunday night telephone call with nearly 200 elected officials from around the state, the governor said she heard that “in our rural communities, restaurants are a key provider of meals to a lot of the elderly and vulnerable folks …”

Oregon Tech Extends Spring Break; Goes Online for Beginning of Spring Term

March 16, 2020, – Oregon Tech is taking additional measures to slow the potential spread of COVID-19 and has announced that the University’s spring break will be extended by one week and all spring term courses will be delivered remotely for two weeks.

Adjustments to operating plans include:

  • Spring break will be extended by an additional week (March 23-April 3) with spring term classes beginning Monday, April 6.
  • All spring term courses (classes and labs) will be delivered remotely for at least the first two weeks of spring term, which is now scheduled to start a week later, April 6.

The change was announced to students and employees March 15 as the university continues to work with partners to increase the availability of online access for all students through arrangements with members of the Southern Oregon Higher Education Consortium (SOHEC) — Rogue Community College, Southern Oregon University, Klamath Community College and Oregon Tech — which have agreed to allow each other’s students to use their computer labs and Wi-Fi networks as needed.

As Oregon Tech remains open during this time to maintain operations, additional measures are being taken to assist employees directly affected by K-12 closures.

Dr. Nagi Naganathan, Oregon Tech’s president said, “All functions of the university are important and must continue to support our students, faculty, and staff. To the greatest extent possible, Oregon Tech will allow and encourage flexible schedules for employees and determine work from home arrangements where able. We will also continue to make every effort to employ social distancing techniques in accordance with the Governor’s and OHA’s guidance.”

As additional COVID-19 information is made available, Oregon Tech will continuously evaluate and update changes to these plans and communicate with the campus community. Full information is available at www.oit.edu/coronavirus.

All March events canceled at Klamath County libraries

Due to concerns about minimizing the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, the Klamath County Library District has canceled all events at Klamath County libraries through the end of March. The Bookie Joint bookstore is also closed until further notice.

Because older adults are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, the Senior Center Branch Library is also closed until further notice. All other Klamath County libraries will remain open.

The Klamath County Library District is also suspending all late fees until April 1st. Don’t worry about turning in your items; you have more important things to worry about right now.

For the most up-to-date information on this and other measures that Klamath County libraries are taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit the “frequently asked questions” page at klamathlibrary.org/coronavirus or call 541-882-8894.

Governor Brown has ordered all schools in the State of Oregon closed from Monday, March 16th through Tuesday, March 31. School districts have already made plans to send homework or set up Google Classrooms to stem an extension of school into the summer months.

More news to come as updates are available!

Klamath Community College Update March 13, 2020

Klamath Community College knows that the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) throughout Oregon is of concern to our students, staff, and community. KCC will remain open and is proactively preparing the campus for a coordinated response to COVID-19 while adhering to new statewide guidelines for workplaces and schools to prevent virus transmission.

“The safety of our students and staff is our highest priority,” said KCC President Dr. Roberto Gutierrez. “The college is in close contact with local health authorities and is taking the recommended precautions to ensure our students have a safe and healthful environment to learn in.”

Gov. Kate Brown announced the new guidelines in a news conference this morning. She said they are based on recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Oregon public health experts, epidemiologists, and health professionals.

The state does not recommend that Oregon’s colleges close at this time, and KCC will stay open and operational. However, based on the guidelines, KCC will cancel any field trips or off-campus group activities for classes and student clubs. KCC will also implement distancing measures, including increasing physical space between employees in offices and worksites, limiting in-person meetings, limiting travel when necessary, and staggering work schedules when possible. The college does not currently have any large gatherings of 250 people or more planned to take place in the next four weeks.

In response to COVID-19, KCC Facilities staff is spending extra time cleaning campus buildings, making high traffic areas and common touchpoints a high priority. Additional supplies for sanitizing buildings are being used for the safety of our students, faculty, and staff.

As of March 12, one case of presumptive COVID-19 has been confirmed in Klamath County. The case is not related to the KCC campus. The College is currently monitoring news coverage and recommendations at the state and local level.

“We will work to continually communicate our response plan to all faculty, staff, and students to ensure information is accurate and up-to-date,” Gutierrez said.

KCC embraces technology and should the need arise, the College will utilize technology to ensure the continuance of College courses and operations. KCC is currently working to improve students’ online access to resources in Student Services and academics and will communicate any changes in campus accessibility or course delivery immediately.

Please visit www.klamathcc.edu/en-US/About/News-and-Events/COVID-19 for information about KCC’s
response to COVID-19 and resources for preventing the spread of the virus.

Oregon Institute of Technology Update March 13, 2020

Oregon Institute of Technology, “Oregon Tech,” announced to its university community that it has been working closely with public health and government officials to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and taking measures to protect the health and safety of its students, faculty, and staff. Internal communication to students and employees stressed that Oregon Tech will take every step to remain open and operational to ensure the academic progress of students, including changes for spring term course delivery.

The university is making decisions based on advice from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state health and education authorities in order to protect the university communities and help prevent the transmission of COVID 19; ensure the continued academic progress of students; and, enact changes to limit the spread of COVID-19 by increasing ‘social distancing’ practices.

Dr. Nagi Naganathan, Oregon Tech’s president said, “We are thankful for the guidance that Oregon Tech and the other public universities received from the Governor’s Office, Oregon Health Authority, our county officials, and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. This close coordination will continue as this situation develops.”

Effective March 23 Oregon Tech is implementing Social Distancing guidance including:

  • University Events: Nonessential employee, department or other university-sponsored gatherings will be limited, with an appropriate exception process for academic delivery and select gatherings.
  • Sporting Events: The NAIA athletic conference is suspending all sports until March 29 or pending further developments.
  • Campus Housing: All student housing facilities will remain open and in normal operations, utilizing social distancing and other precautions.
  • Employee Travel: Nonessential employee travel will be curtailed to the extent feasible.
  • Continuity of Work and Remote Work: When feasible, and with prior approval, employees may be permitted to work remotely.

Social distancing guidance will be evaluated on a frequent basis and adjustments will be communicated to the campus community.

Regarding Spring Break (3/20-3/27) guidance, the university strongly recommended that students, staff and faculty limit travel, particularly international travel or to areas of the United States that have high infection rates. If students and employees have been to areas with high infection rates, or have reason to believe that they have been exposed to COVID-19, or have cold or flu-like symptoms, they should practice increased personal hygiene and social distancing techniques as outlined by the CDC.

Oregon Tech communicated specific guidance for students and employees regarding Spring Term (Effective 3/30):

  • Classes: Spring Term lecture classes will be delivered remotely wherever feasible for at least the first two weeks of classes from 3/30 to 4/10/2020. Additional information will be communicated to students and faculty by Oregon Tech’s Office of the Provost.
  • Labs: Laboratory instruction will continue to be offered in their current modality and as scheduled, with efforts made to employ social distancing practices.
  • Computer Labs: Select computer labs will remain open for student use during Spring Term to ensure all students have access to courses delivered remotely.
  • Clinics Operations: Clinics run by Oregon Tech will continue normal operations until further notice.
  • Student Externships: Students externships and co-ops will continue; guidance will be updated on a regular basis by the department, and the extern partner in consultation with the Office of the Provost.
  • Evaluating Further Steps: Each of these steps will be reevaluated on a frequent basis and adjustments will be communicated to the campus community.

President Naganathan added: “In situations like this we recognize that we cannot eliminate all risk, but we are determined to do all that we can to minimize it by focusing on protecting the health and well-being of our regional and campus communities as well as ensuring our students continued academic progress.”

National News 9:02 AM

Trump to Declare National Emergency to Speed Virus Response

President Donald Trump plans to declare a national emergency on Friday over the coronavirus outbreak, invoking the Stafford Act to open the door to more federal aid for states and municipalities, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The president said he will hold a news conference at 3 p.m. in Washington. Trump spoke Friday with Emmanuel Macron, the French president tweeted, about the pandemic, and agreed to organize a video conference with world leaders on Monday to coordinate research efforts on a vaccine and treatments and work on how to respond to the economic fallout.

Trump is under increasing pressure to act as governors and mayors nationwide step up actions to mitigate the spread, closing schools and canceling public events. Declaring a national emergency would allow the government to marshal additional resources to combat the virus, and also marks a symbolic turning point for the president, who has repeatedly compared the coronavirus to the seasonal flu and insisted that his administration had the outbreak under control.

State of Oregon March 12, 8:52 PM

Six more residents of Veterans’ Home in Lebanon positive for COVID-19

PORTLAND, Ore.—Six additional residents of Oregon Veterans’ Home in Lebanon, where two people were diagnosed yesterday with COVID-19, have tested positive for COVID-19 and are presumptive positive cases, Oregon Health Authority has announced.

The affected individuals include one man between ages 55 and 74 and five men aged 75 years or older. While their illnesses are considered linked to the two earlier cases, the exact sources of their exposures are not known. All have been placed in isolation at the facility.

“Tonight our thoughts are with these veterans and their loved ones,” said OHA Director Patrick Allen. “We are working closely with the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the facility’s staff, and Linn County Public Health to ensure they get the best care and support possible.”

The new cases bring Linn County’s total number of presumptive positive cases to eight. There now are 30 cases of the virus statewide, as of 8:13 p.m. today.

“Our deepest concerns are with our now eight veteran residents who have tested positive for COVID-19,” said Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Kelly Fitzpatrick. “Our thoughts are with their families and loved ones, and with our staff at the Oregon Veterans’ Home who are working tirelessly to provide exceptional care to all residents. Our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected by this rapidly evolving pandemic, but we can’t help but feel special concern for what is happening at our Veterans’ Home. These residents are our nation’s heroes. They protected our freedoms and way of life that we now enjoy. It is nothing less than our sacred duty to now fight for them. We will continue to do everything in our power to protect our residents and staff, and mitigate the spread of this virus within our facility.”

Last night, an Infection Control and Specimen Collection Strike Team from OHA deployed to the Veterans’ Home to help support existing and additional infection control practices and help collect specimens. Samples from the suspected cases were brought to the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory early this morning, and test results were released late this afternoon.

On Wednesday, the Oregon Department of Human Services, in consultation with OHA, issued a policy to limit exposure to COVID-19 at long-term care facilities. The guidance directs nursing, assisted living and residential care facilities, including those providing memory care, to:

  • Restrict visitation to only essential individuals.
  • Limit essential visitors to two per resident at a given time.
  • Screen all permitted visitors for respiratory or other symptoms potentially indicating COVID-19, and for recent travel to an affected geographic area or high-risk setting prior to entering the facilities.
  • Document the screenings for all visitors.
  • Limit community outings.
  • Support residents’ access to socialization when visitors are not able to enter the facility through virtual visits.

Health officials continue to urge all Oregonians to take steps to protect those who are most vulnerable to complications from COVID-19.

3:03 PM

3 new presumptive positive cases bring state’s COVID-19 count to 24

PORTLAND, Ore.–Oregon is adding three new presumptive positive cases to its count of people diagnosed with novel coronavirus, COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to 24.

Clackamas County now has its first case, a man between the ages of 35 and 54 who was a close contact with a previous case. The new Washington County cases are both women older than 55 who had no known close contacts with confirmed cases and are considered community-spread cases.

Washington County now has a total of 10 cases.

Health officials continue to urge all Oregonians to take steps to protect those who are most vulnerable to complications from COVID-19. Those considered “high risk” include adults 60 and older, or anyone with a serious health condition, including lung or heart problems, kidney disease, or diabetes, or anyone who has a suppressed immune system.

People vulnerable to complications should follow federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to stay home as much as possible and avoid gatherings.

Every resident should take these basic steps to protect those most at risk:

  • Never visit a hospital or long-term-care facility if you have a fever or cough illness.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home if you feel ill.
  • Call your provider before seeking health care.

The COVID-19 virus spreads like the flu, when someone who is sick coughs or sneezes close to another person (close means about 6 feet).

After someone contracts COVID-19, illness usually develops within 14 days. Symptoms mirror those of the flu, including fever, cough, runny nose, headache, sore throat and general feelings of illness. That has made it more difficult for health officials to identify sick individuals and stop the virus from spreading.

As testing capacity increases–with LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics online, and clinical laboratories at some Oregon hospitals expected to begin testing by next week–officials expect the number of people who test positive with COVID-19 to rise.

Stay informed

March 12, 10 am

Rock and Mineral show canceled, Home and Outdoor Expo Canceled, all school events for all districts outside of normal school with exception of after school program that is part of KFCS, canceled at a minimum for the next month.

Governor Brown mandated 250 and above gatherings canceled, a Press release from Klamath County Fairgrounds effectively cancels all events on the books from today (March 12,) through April 5th. The Press Release states that cancelations could extend further depending on further mandates from the Governor’s office.

Statement from OAHHS (Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems)

Today, Becky Hultberg, President and CEO of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS), released the following statement on new COVID-19 guidance from Governor Kate Brown. OAHHS represents Oregon’s 62 acute care hospitals and works on behalf the patients they serve to promote community health and to continue improving Oregon's innovative health care system.

“Two of the most important steps we can all take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are to wash our hands frequently and practice social distancing. We support the Governor’s decision to limit large public gatherings to no more than 250 people and promote flexible work schedules to reduce interpersonal contact. These steps are recommended by public health experts and will help protect populations that are particularly at-risk – older adults, those with underlying health conditions, and the unhoused. If you have questions about COVID-19, we recommend seeking credible information through the Oregon Health Authority.”

Updated March 11, 1pm
State Announces 4 New Presumptive Positive Covid-19 Cases

Oregon now has a total of 19 people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since Feb. 28 after the Oregon Health Authority announced four new presumptive positive cases of the novel coronavirus today.

OHA confirmed one new case each in Polk, Marion, Umatilla, and Deschutes counties. None of the new cases involved travel to a country where the virus is actively spreading. The Polk, Marion and Deschutes cases had no known close contacts with confirmed cases, so they are considered community-spread. The Umatilla County case is close contact with that county’s first case.

OHA and Polk, Marion, Umatilla, and Deschutes counties are working to identify and isolate any individuals who may have been in close contact with the cases in the last 14 days.

“I know it’s difficult to learn that we are seeing more active community spread of COVID-19, but this is something we’ve been expecting,” said Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed, health officer and state epidemiologist, OHA Public Health Division. “It’s a good reminder to take steps to protect yourself, and vulnerable friends and family members, by washing your hands, covering your coughs and sneezes, and staying home if you’re sick.”

Health officials continue to urge all Oregonians to take steps to protect those who are most vulnerable to complications from COVID-19. Those considered “high risk” include adults 60 and older, or anyone with a serious health condition, including lung or heart problems, kidney disease, or diabetes, or anyone who has a suppressed immune system.

People vulnerable to complications should follow the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to stay home as much as possible and avoid gatherings.

Every resident should take these basic steps to protect those most at risk:

  • Never visit a hospital or long-term care facility if you have a fever or cough illness.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home if you feel ill.

The COVID-19 virus spreads like the flu when someone who is sick coughs or sneezes close to another person (close means about 6 feet).

After someone contracts COVID-19, the illness usually develops within 14 days. Symptoms mirror those of the flu, including fever, cough, runny nose, headache, sore throat and general feelings of illness. That has made it more difficult for health officials to identify sick individuals and stop the virus from spreading.

As testing capacity increases — with Labcorp and Quest Diagnostics online, and clinical laboratories at some Oregon hospitals expected to begin testing by next week — officials expect the number of people who test positive with COVID-19 to rise.

Stay informed

First Multnomah County resident tests positive for COVID-19

The Oregon Health Authority today announced Multnomah County’s first presumptive positive case of COVID-19. The new case brings Oregon’s total to 15 cases in seven counties.

OHA and Multnomah County are working to identify and isolate any individuals who may have been in close contact with the person in the last 14 days.

This case is being treated at the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The individual had no known contact with a confirmed case and had not traveled from a country where the virus is circulating, so the case is being investigated as a community-acquired case.

“I can only imagine the concern among the family and friends of this person,” said Jennifer Vines, M.D., lead health officer for the tri-county region. “I’m asking you, as my neighbors and as my community, to keep this individual and their loved ones in your thoughts. And let us all do what we can to minimize the number of other people who must go through this.”

Health officials continue to urge all Oregonians to take steps to protect those who are most vulnerable to complications from COVID-19.

Those considered “high risk” include adults 60 and older, or anyone with a serious health condition, including lung or heart problems, kidney disease, or diabetes, or anyone who has a suppressed immune system.

People vulnerable to complications should follow the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to stay home as much as possible and avoid gatherings.

Every resident should take these basic steps to protect those most at risk:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home if you feel ill.

The COVID-19 virus spreads like the flu when someone who is sick coughs or sneezes close to another person (close means about six feet).

After someone contracts COVID-19, the illness usually develops within 14 days. Symptoms mirror those of the flu, including fever, cough, runny nose, headache, sore throat and general feelings of illness. That has made it more difficult for health officials to identify sick individuals and stop the virus from spreading.

As testing capacity increases — with Labcorp and Quest Diagnostics online, and clinical laboratories at some Oregon hospitals expected to begin testing by next week — officials expect the number of people who test positive with COVID-19 to rise. Also on Tuesday, the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory received eight additional testing kits from the CDC, which allows for testing of up to 4,800 people.

“We are not going to isolate and quarantine our way out of this pandemic,” Dr. Vines said. “We are working with our partners on mass gathering guidance, at schools, places where people gather and mix, to spread people out.

“We are not talking anymore about stopping the spread of this virus,” she said. “Without a vaccine and without medicine, our best bet as a community is to slow the spread so those who do get seriously ill can get the care they need from our health system.”

Stay informed

Oregon Health Authority Coronavirus Update March 9

No new cases of COVID-19 today
D
ata are provisional and change frequently, but here are the current totals:
*226 are still under monitoring
*291 have either completed monitoring or were determined to have no risk
*Samples for 52 patients await results
*Samples for 165 patients have tested negative for COVID-19
*Samples for 14 patients have tested positive. One of the presumptive positive tests has been confirmed by the CDC.
Support those at higher risk
CDC has reported that older adults may be at a higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 and we know many of you are wondering what this means for the health of your loved ones.

We know how important it is to protect our parents, grandparents and other vulnerable populations. We all have a role to play in protecting at-risk groups. Here are some things you can do to protect the older adults in your life and those at higher risk.

Presumptive Coronavirus Cases In Klamath County – Links and Up-To-Date Information

Klamath County officials talked about the county’s first presumptive case of the COVID-19 Coronavirus at a press conference over the weekend. Here are the latest update and information and links for you.

Officials say the case is travel-related, just like two cases in Jackson County also announced Saturday morning along with another case in Washington County that is believed to be community spread.

Officials aren’t releasing any information about the patient in order to preserve the patient’s privacy. Klamath County Public Health Officer Dr. Wendy Warren also declined to comment on if there were any other people in the county being monitored or tested, although KCPH is contacting anyone they believe might have been in contact with the patient enough to put them at risk.

KCPH Director Jennifer Little said they monitor known contacts of someone who tested positive for symptoms for two weeks.

“As soon as the notification of a presumptive case was received, public health began working to identify all close contacts and proper notification to include a risk assessment. Contact investigation, allows public health to ensure that those at risk are monitored for development of any signs or symptoms,” she said. “Contacts are monitored for 14 days following their last known exposure and are cooperating fully at this time. There is no identified risk to the greater community in Klamath County, and there is no community spread at this time.”

The four additional cases announced Saturday to bring the state’s total to seven, with five of those occurring in patients between the ages of 55 and 74 and the other two cases in patients 35 to 54, according to the OHA’s website. Three of the cases have been linked to travel while the other four are considered to be community spread. Five patients are hospitalized, and the other two are not.

The state is still waiting on 40 test results, as of Saturday morning, and 77 tests have returned negative since January.

Warren said there’s no need for panic in the community and reminded people that contracting the disease requires prolonged close contact of fewer than 6 feet between people for at least an hour.

“At this point, there is no reason to be alarmed, and the community is encouraged to continue practices that reduce exposure to germs,” she said.

Warren admitted that officials don’t know much about the virus yet and are learning more every day. One factor officials don’t know yet is how long the virus lives on surfaces.

The county is building on the plans developed in 2009 for the H1N1 swine flu virus, Warren said and refining them to fit this virus.

Warren said Public Health might not know all of the people being tested for the virus in the area because private labs are now testing for the virus as well. Previously all tests were sent to the Oregon Health Authority’s lab. She said this is because the state lab only has the capacity to test 40 people per day.

“We need to have a broader capacity, so other routes are being developed,” Warren said.

Any positive tests at private labs would be reported to the county, she said.

While cases that test positive in the state are considered “presumptive” until confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control, Warrens said they don’t wait until they have a confirmation to take action.

“If we have what we call a presumptive case, that means that they had a positive result, at this point, from our state lab. And at that point, we treat them as though they have Coronavirus, then their samples are sent off to the CDC who then do confirmatory testing,” she said. “But at this point, anyone who came back with a presumptive case is being treated as though they have it.”

Warren reminds people that if you think you have symptoms of the virus to call your health care provider before you come into the office.

Oregon Tech preparation

Oregon Institute of Technology deployed a response team, according to a news release, to develop a plan in case the virus reaches campus or those who spend time there.

The university also has a website for information about the disease as it pertains to students and staff where it warns students to consider avoiding travel to areas with COVID-19 cases as Spring Break approaches March 23 through 27. Oregon Tech has not issued any travel bans, according to the website, but asks that if any students become sick that they delay returning to campus until they don’t have a fever for 24 hours.

Sky Lakes facility

Sky Lakes Vice President of Medical Affairs Dr. Grant Niskanen described the facility at Sky Lakes where they would isolate someone who tested positive for the illness as a negative pressure room where the air from the room is vented outside of the building and doesn’t circulate in the hospital’s ventilation system. He also said they have the necessary equipment for health care professionals who would treat any patients to keep them safe from the disease as well.

“If someone comes into the emergency room, and they have a flu-like illness, they’re immediately placed in isolation,” Niskanen said.

While other hospitals and clinics around the country are facing shortages of masks, Niskanen said Sky Lakes is in “okay shape.”

Niskanen said Saturday that he expects to see more cases in the area.

Despite the virus reaching the area, Warren did not recommend any school closures Saturday. She instead reminds people to stay home if sick and to take precautions to stop the spread of germs.

Although symptoms of this Coronavirus can be similar to the flu, Warren noted the flu can often spread before a person has symptoms, but that the Coronavirus typically spreads after someone begins to have symptoms.

Current Outbreaks Across the Nation

  • Total cases: 423
  • Total deaths: 19
  • States reporting cases: 35 (includes District of Columbia)

* Data include both confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 reported to CDC or tested at CDC since January 21, 2020, with the exception of testing results for persons repatriated to the United States from Wuhan, China, and Japan. State and local public health departments are now testing and publicly reporting their cases. In the event of a discrepancy between CDC cases and cases reported by state and local public health officials, data reported by states should be considered the most up to date.

Travel-related72
Person-to-person spread29
Under Investigation322
Total cases423

Current Outbreaks in the State of Oregon

As of 3/9/20, there are 14 reported cases of Covid 19 in the State of Oregon.

From the Centers For Disease Control – What You Need To Know About Coronavirus

Read Here How To Protect Yourself

Oregon State Health Agencies Issue COVID-19 Guidance To Oregon Schools and Universities

Health officials recommend taking steps to prevent infection and keeping schools open

Public health experts at the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and education officials with the Oregon Department of Education and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission today issued guidance and best practices from public health experts to schools, colleges and universities for decision-making concerning the novel coronavirus in Oregon.

At this time, the guidance recommends not closing schools and campuses where no cases of COVID-19 are present. It also recommends that schools, colleges, and universities consider all alternatives before closing a school, college or university in the event that a COVID-19 case is detected among students or staff. The guidance identifies important strategies educational administrators can use to reduce the risk of COVID-19 within a school community and protect students from lost instructional time.

The guidance recognizes that the instruction schools and universities provide is vital to student well-being. In addition, schools provide many students their only ready access to health care and food. More than 22,000 students in Oregon experienced some form of homelessness in 2019.

The recommendation gives schools tools to prevent COVID-19 transmission and maintain a normal learning environment for students and staff. Under existing OHA guidance, individuals who have COVID-19, including students and educators, will be subject to self-isolation to prevent others from becoming infected.

Among the measures that educational institutions should consider are increasing the frequency of handwashing for children, youth and adults; cleaning high-touch, high-traffic areas within schools frequently, and screening for illness among students, staff and visitors. The policy also highlights more aggressive measures involving social distancing strategies that school leaders and educators could employ to minimize the spread of COVID-19 or other infections. This could include staggering recess and lunch periods to reduce the number of students coming into close contact with each other.

The recommendations are meant to guide decision-making for school districts, colleges, and universities, in consultation with state and local health officials. School districts and higher education administrators have the option of closing a school or university if many students and staff are affected by COVID-19, leaving the school unable to operate safely and effectively. Other measures, such as social distancing techniques, should be deployed by schools and universities first, with extended closures viewed as a measure of last resort. For example, an adult-serving institution with options for shifting to remote instruction without severe community disruption may weigh the recommendations differently.

OHA state health officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger said, “We know many parents, students and educators are worried that COVID-19 will appear in their school communities. We want schools and universities to know there are steps they can take to prevent infection and keep students safe, healthy and learning in the classroom.”

State health officials issued the guidance after extensive consultation with local public health officers, state medical experts, and educational stakeholders and leaders, including educators, parents, school district superintendents, school board members, and higher education officials.

David Bangsberg, M.D., M.P.H., Dean of the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health said, “This recommendation represents a reasonable and thoughtful approach given the information that is available at this time. This is a dynamic situation and will require a continued partnership between schools, colleges and universities and the public health community to make real-time decisions for each situation.”

 “I appreciate the strong partnership and guidance from the Oregon Health Authority as Oregon rallies in response to the COVID-19 challenge,” Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill said. “Keeping schools open is the best option for our state and, most importantly, for our students. Our safety efforts should focus on practicing good hygiene, staying home when we are not feeling well, and cleaning surfaces in our schools. We can all play a part with these simple steps to protect ourselves and our friends, classmates, and community.”

Ben Cannon, Executive Director of the Higher Education Coordinating Commission said, “Close coordination between Oregon’s colleges and universities, the HECC, and the Oregon Health Authority is helping to ensure that we keep students, faculty, and staff safe while minimizing educational disruptions. We appreciate the OHA for the clear guidance it is providing to Oregon’s colleges and universities today, and we’ll continue to work closely with OHA as this situation evolves.”

Dr. Ed Ray, President of Oregon State University said, “The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is the top priority for every higher education institution in Oregon. We appreciate the guidance from OHA and the Governor’s office as we prepare and respond to the evolving outbreak. We will continue to work closely with state and local public health officials.”

“Maintaining the health and safety of Oregon’s students, families and communities is always a top priority for our educators,” said Oregon Education Association President John Larson. “We appreciate the Oregon Health Authority’s use of sound, science-based guidelines as health and education leaders work together to decide what is best for our students. Based on the available research, that means keeping our public schools open.”

Jim Green, Executive Director of the Oregon School Boards Association, said, “Our health and education leaders in Oregon are working closely together as this situation evolves. Our primary goal is keeping kids and communities safe, and what research and experience are telling us now is that we should be trying to keep our schools open as we work through this.”

Kristi Dille, president of Oregon PTA said, “I’m thankful OHA and ODE are sending a strong signal to parents and other members of the community that our schools should stay open. This clear guidance allows us to meet the needs of students and families.”

“The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is the top priority for every higher education institution in Oregon,” said Chief Resilience Officer and Associate Vice President for Safety and Risk Services Andre LeDuc. “University of Oregon appreciates the Higher Education Coordination Commission and Oregon Health Authority’s coordinated efforts to share fact-based information to assist all campuses in Oregon in preparing and responding to the evolving outbreak.”

OHA continues to recommend that all people in Oregon take everyday precautions to prevent the spread of many respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19 and influenza: Cover your coughs and sneezes, wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, avoid close contact with people who are sick and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms. If you are feeling sick with mild symptoms and do not need to seek medical care, stay home while you recover. If you are sick and plan to seek care, please call before going in for care so arrangements can be made to prevent exposing others. For urgent medical needs, call 911.

Students, families and school staff can find more information about COVID-19 at:

Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems 

Becky Hultberg, President, and CEO of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS), released the following statement regarding Governor Kate Brown’s declaration of a state of emergency due to the outbreak of COVID-19. OAHHS represents Oregon’s 62 acute care hospitals and works on behalf of the patients they serve to promote community health and to continue improving Oregon’s innovative health care system. 
 
“By declaring a state of emergency, the Governor and the Oregon Health Authority Director are taking necessary steps to bring the state government’s broad powers to respond to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Oregon. We support the Governor’s leadership in taking this step and support any additional actions to prepare and respond to this outbreak, particularly her focus on at-risk populations – older adults, those with underlying health conditions, and the unhoused. OAHHS and our member hospitals are in regular communication with the administration and local health departments to deliver accurate information and quality care to our patients and the public. Hospitals are on the front lines responding to the outbreak and are committed to providing critical inpatient and community health services to respond to this evolving situation. We are working with the state administration to address important issues such as inpatient capacity, additional supplies, and equipment to keep our workers and patients safe, regulatory relief to ensure adequate staffing and clarity around changing requirements. We look forward to addressing these issues as we continue to fulfill our responsibilities around public health, infection prevention, and disease management.” 

Must Read

Rhonda’s Custom Draperies – Quality Draperies, Fabric, Custom Work, Repairs!

Malea

Beat Sugar Addiction for Better Weight Loss Results

Malea

Highlighting Great KU Students- Jacob McGonigle

Malea