Coronavirus Updates

Senator Wagner

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Last night the Lake Oswego School District voted to close the district’s schools through the end of this month. This was one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make as an elected school board member. Given the quickly changing situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state and nationally, this measure was an important first step and we will continue to update our plans as new information emerges. 

We asked critical questions through an equity lens - how are we providing nutrition for children who are food insecure? How are we providing a safe workplace for our staff?  How are we supporting families who are living paycheck-to-paycheck and don’t have childcare options? And should the closure be for a longer period, how will we work to provide equitable educational services?  These are questions that we are all asking. But one thing is clear, we all need to cooperate and step up in the ways that we can during this public health crisis.

Shortly after the District’s announcement, Governor Kate Brown announced statewide school closures beginning Monday, March 16 through Tuesday, March 31st. While children are home, when at all possible, they should not be in the care of older adults or those with underlying health issues that are most at-risk from COVID-19. Please see up to date information from local school districts below:

Additional Updates from Governor Brown

Governor's Executive Order

  1. Large gatherings: All large gatherings over 250 people will be canceled statewide effective immediately for four weeks. A gathering is defined as any event in a space in which appropriate social distancing of a minimum of three feet cannot be maintained.
  2. Workplace: Recommended implementation of distancing measures including an increased physical space between employees in offices and work sites, limited in-person meetings, limited travel, and staggered work schedules where possible.
  3. Long-Term Care and Assisted Living: Strict limitations announced this week by the Oregon Health Authority and Department of Human Services remain in place.

Governor Kate Brown Announces Agreement with Health Insurers on COVID-19 Testing.

The Governor also announced on social media that Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, and NW Natural have all agreed to waive late fees during this time. Customers should visit utility websites or call the companies to make arrangements. Verizon has also waived late fees for 60 days and pledged to not disconnect individuals and businesses that struggle to make a payment.

The Oregon Health Authority has a variety of resources and updated information on the status of COVID 19 as well as FAQs, recommendations, etc. You can subscribe to email updates or send in questions, as well.

The Oregon Department of Education has information in many languages about the decision to close schools, as well as efforts to provide meals, child care, and other services that will be disrupted with the closures.

The Bureau of Labor and Industries has a basic FAQ for Employers and Employees around COVID 19.

Resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • What You Should Know - How COVID-19 Spreads, Symptoms, etc. (here)
  • Situation Summary (here)
  • Travel Information (here)
  • Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities (here)
  • Higher Risk & Special Populations (here)

Staying Healthy and Limiting the Spread

Please review and practice these tips for staying healthy and limiting the spread of the virus:

  • At this time, authorities are recommending “social distancing” and that employees work from home if possible.
  • If you feel sick, or develop a cough or fever, stay home from work or school.
  • If you need to seek care from your health care provider, please call ahead so they can inform you of the safest health protocols upon your visit.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then dispose of that tissue. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If you do not have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Take care of your health overall. Staying current on your vaccinations, including flu vaccine, eating well and exercising all help your body stay resilient.
  • Consult CDC’s travel website for any travel advisories and steps to protect yourself if you plan to travel outside of the US.

Should I Be Tested?

If you are experiencing symptoms, please call your health care provider or your county health authority about whether you should be tested. If you are not experiencing an emergency, please do not go to the emergency department. Call ahead and then go to your primary care provider.

The testing guidelines are no longer restricted to people who recently traveled. A health care provider may order a coronavirus test if they find it appropriate. However, because prevention is focused on high-risk populations, testing is favored for people who are at high-risk or who have exposure to high-risk populations.

Are You at Increased-Risk?

Older adults (age 60 or older) and individuals with long-term health problems are at a higher risk of developing severe symptoms of COVID-19. 

The CDC has defined the following underlying medical conditions as increasing the risk:

  • Blood disorders (e.g., sickle cell disease or on blood thinners)
  • Chronic kidney disease as defined by your doctor.
  • Chronic liver disease as defined by your doctor. (e.g., cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis)
  • Compromised immune system (immunosuppression)
  • Current or recent pregnancy in the last two weeks
  • Endocrine disorders (e.g., diabetes mellitus)
  • Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)
  • Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)
  • 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
  • Neurological and neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions [including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve, and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy (seizure disorders), stroke, intellectual disability, moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury].

If you fall into one or more of these categories, you should be staying at home and avoiding as much contact with others as possible. Consider having your groceries or prescriptions delivered.

Food Assistance and Community Solidarity

If you need food assistance, please reach out to the following agencies: 

Also, please consider making donations to the above groups as they will be needing extra assistance to serve impacted communities in the days and weeks ahead. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

While “social distancing” is recommended at this time, social cohesion is also necessary. There are many vulnerable and isolated members of our communities that were already struggling before the coronavirus pandemic. We need to step up to support those in need, consistent with public health recommendations. Together, we will weather this public health emergency and safeguard all Oregonians. Please do not panic. Be kind to one another and reach out if you or a loved one need assistance.

I will be sharing additional resources and targeted ways to contribute to the common good as the situation evolves. Please reach out to my office if we can be of assistance.

Sincerely and in solidarity,


State Senator Rob Wagner

email: I phone: 503-986-1719
address: 900 Court St NE, S-215, Salem, OR, 97301