COVID-19 Update, Town Hall Cancellation


Senator Floyd Prozanski
South Lane and North Douglas Counties
District 4

900 Court St. NE, S-413, Salem Oregon 97301
District phone: 541-342-2447
Email: sen.floydprozanski@oregonlegislature.govs
e-Update                     March 18, 2019

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Dear friends,

This update is intended to provide information about the COVID-19 (coronavirus). My goal is to keep you informed as to what actions the state and other government entities are taking to address the pandemic. Please realize that as we move through various stages of the crisis, information will be updated and changes with accompanying protocols and restrictions.

    Now that Douglas and Lane Counties both have confirmed cases, including a fatality in Lane County, it is important for all of us to realize that this virus is serious and many individuals are going to be impacted by it. I know that many of you have already taken steps to address you and your family's personal safety, but others have not. Hopefully this will be the "wake up call" for everyone. We must do everything possible to quickly address those impacts so as to reduce the risk of greater infection. At this time, the two most important things we can do as individuals are to maintain safe distances from one another of 6 feet (also referred to as "social distancing") and to wash hands frequently with soap and water (to be effective, you need to wash your hands at least for 20 seconds).

    On Monday, Oregon's Governor announced important "social distancing" measures which are now in effect:

  • A statewide cancellation of all events and gatherings larger than 25 people — exempting essential locations like workplaces, grocery stores, pharmacies, and retail stores. It's additionally recommended that Oregonians avoid gatherings of 10 people or more.

  • Restaurants, bars, and other establishments that offer food or beverages for sale are restricted to carry-out and delivery only with no on-site consumption permitted.

  • Food service at health care facilities, workplaces, and other essential facilities will continue.

  • All other businesses are urged to assess their practices, implement strong social distancing measures, and close their doors temporarily if they cannot put the new guidance in place.

  • 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 childcare. This includes delivery of food assistance and offering childcare 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.

    Both Lane and Douglas Counties have declared states of emergency. This allows more flexibility for local governments to respond to urgent needs and allocate resources. The Legislature's Joint Special Committee on Coronavirus Response will meet today at 10 a.m., to hear updates from the Governor’s office and Oregon Health Authority as well as testimony from employee and employer groups. The meeting will be live-streamed, here.

    A key message that I want to share and ask that you convey to loved ones and friends is: While it feels like we're in the middle of this public health crisis, it's really only the beginning. By adhering to social distancing measures (6 feet apart), we can limit infection rates. I know this is tough; family dinners, birthday parties, and other get-togethers must be put off. Even if you are young, healthy and not part of an at-risk population, you can easily and unknowingly spread COVID-19 to vulnerable folks, including family members.

    For a helpful overview of the U.S. to response COVID-19 and demonstration on how the virus is spread without appropriate social distancing measures that "flatten the curve" from the Washington Post, click here. Below are a variety of links to state, general services, and business support resources that you may find helpful:

State Agency Information

Announcements and Resources

Business Resources

    A sad reality during times like these is that
scammers are ready to take advantage. Please be extra-alert and if you find any individual or business offering too-good-to-be-true offers, price gouging, or engaging in other predatory behaviors, please call the Oregon Depart of Justice's consumer complaint hotline at: 877-877-9392.

    My Lane County legislative colleagues and I are in the process of cancelling our session recap town hall scheduled for March 31 and considering a "virtual town hall." On a related note, I donated my last three days of per diem payments from the "short" legislative session, which concluded early due to the Republican walkout, to three nonprofit organizations in Senate District 4: Food for Lane County, Cottage Village Coalition, and UCAN:

  • Food for Lane County coordinates hunger relief efforts focused on food assistance and self-sufficiency for our neighbors living on limited resources.

  • Cottage Village Coalition is group of concerned individuals and organizations in the Cottage Grove area, in collaboration with SquareOne Villages, working together to craft a permanent solution to homelessness in Cottage Grove.

  • The United Community Action Network (UCAN) provides help with utility assistance, housing, weatherization, Head Start, senior health insurance, prescriptions, budgeting, case management, and transportation in Douglas and Josephine counties. They also provide food to pantries and kitchens throughout Douglas County through its Regional Food Bank.

    During these challenging times, these nonprofits need help more than ever. I encourage anyone whose financial situation allows to also support the invaluable work they do in our communities.

    Unprecedented times warrant unprecedented actions. Your state elected officials have stepped up to the plate in a bipartisan way to deal with COVID-19. We should expect more measures as the situation develops. I also expect that the Legislature will hold a special session to deal with COVID-19 in the near future. The Joint Special Committee on Coronavirus Response will scope various issues to determine how the state can best address the needs of Oregonians and local communities. It's essential for all of us to work together to reduce the impact of the virus in Oregon.

    Please stay tuned to my Facebook page for more frequent updates. Together, we'll get through this  and as always, feel free to share your comments, questions or concerns with me. Take care, please practice social distancing and wash your hands frequently!

                                                                       Sen. Prozanski signature

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