COVID-19 Updates

Senator Ginny Burdick

Updates on COVID-19 Response

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As I’m sure you know, our state is facing a very real and serious new challenge from the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. My legislative colleagues and I, along with leadership in the Governor’s office and in state agencies, have been working tirelessly to put safeguards in place to protect Oregonians during this outbreak. Some of you may have questions about what measures are being implemented in Senate District 18 and beyond. In this newsletter, I am highlighting some actions that have already been taken and providing links to reliable sources for you to check in on as the situation develops.

The Response


Today, Governor Kate Brown issued an executive order outlining several measures to mitigate the spread of this virus in order to protect our most vulnerable populations, and to ease the burden on our healthcare system. These measures include:

  • The cancellation of gatherings of more than 25 people across the state until April 11;
  • A temporary moratorium on dine-in service at restaurants and food establishments;
  • Guidance on workplace social distancing measures, including working from home and encouraging flexible leave policy for staff who need to stay home;
  • Canceling non-essential gatherings and group activities at schools and childcare facilities;
  • Increasing cleaning and social distancing as it pertains to transit;
  • Implementing guest screening and limiting non-essential contact with those living in nursing, assisted living and residential care facilities.

Additionally, last week Governor Brown ordered that all Oregon K-12 Schools be closed from Monday, March 16 through Tuesday, March 31.

Multnomah County:

On March 11, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury declared a state of emergency for Multnomah County, and on March 12, Mayor Ted Wheeler declared a state of emergency in Portland, Oregon. Local COVID-19 measures include:

  • The City of Portland’s Homeless and Urban Camping Impact Reduction Program has been placing extra portable toilets with interior handwashing stations throughout the city. An online interactive map showing hygiene station locations can be found here. The map will be updated as more stations become available.
  • TriMet is wiping down all touchpoints on buses and trains with disinfectant each night in addition to regular cleanings.

Washington County:

On March 4, the Board of County Commissioners declared an emergency, allowing Washington County personnel greater flexibility and support to work with partner agencies and the public to prevent further spread of COVID-19. Washington County recommends residents look for the most recent updates to COVID-19 response on the Multnomah County Health Department website, which has been approved by tri-county health officers and provides information in 13 languages.

Clackamas County:

On March 2, Clackamas County Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency. The declaration was extended on March 12, and now expires on June 30. Although the Board has not declared a “public health emergency,” the following measures have been enacted:

  • Commitment to mutual aid agreements;
  • Redirection of funds for emergency use;
  • Ordering such other measures as are found to be immediately necessary for the protection of life and/or property.

Additionally, Clackamas County is directing residents to follow updates from Multnomah County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control.

What You Can Do

In times like these we have to take care of each other. Right now, a big part of that is social distancing. Please take time to discuss with your friends and family members how you can protect your community by staying at home when possible, rescheduling gatherings like birthdays and family reunions, and helping your neighbors who are at higher risk to safely get the groceries and services they need. I am taking my own advice and working from home. 

Even though it sounds simple, it’s also important to keep washing your hands regularly, to avoid touching your face, and to keep six feet of distance between you and others. These actions help limit your exposure to the virus, and to any other bugs also floating around this time of year.

These measures save lives. As a community, let’s please commit to protecting each other.

Stay Up To Date

While we at the Capitol are closely following state guidance on social distancing, I still fully intend to be doing everything I can to respond to your questions and concerns during this difficult time. In the upcoming weeks, my staff and I are working to schedule a “tele-town hall" in the near future to answer specific questions about COVID-19 in our district.

In the meantime, information and available resources are evolving rapidly. Therefore, I encourage you all to be following updates online from the Oregon Health Authority, Multnomah County Health Department, and the Centers for Disease Control .

Finally, a big thank you to workers and their families in health care, the food and grocery service industry, and others who put themselves at risk every day to make sure Oregonians get what they need, even in tough times like these. We see you and appreciate all you are doing.

Remember that you can also always reach out to my office at 503-986-1700, or contact me or my legislative assistant, Chelsea Punian by email at with questions and concerns.

Yours in Sequestration,

Ginny Signature


email: I phone: 503-986-1718
address: 900 Court St NE, S-213, Salem, OR, 97301


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