COVID-19 Coronavirus Update

Representative Smith Warner

Dear friends and neighbors,

I am committed to providing you with up-to-date information and resources as we navigate the ever-evolving COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. I encourage you to utilize these tools to combat the impact and challenges the coronavirus pandemic poses to our most vulnerable populations across our community. It may seem like we’re in the middle of this, but it’s just the beginning. That’s why the new social distancing measures Governor Brown announced are so important. 

Governor Kate Brown issued an executive order yesterday outlining several measures to mitigate the spread of this virus and to preserve hospital capacity. These measures include:

  • A 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;
  • Increasing cleaning and social distancing on public transit

Legislative Action Plan

The legislature has created a Special Joint Legislative Committee on Coronavirus Response that will be monitoring public health strategies, identifying actions to provide economic relief and support for small businesses and workers, and assisting with housing instability. The first meeting of the committee will convene Wednesday March 18th at 10:00am. If you would like to submit ideas, feedback and testimony, email by 5 p.m. Wednesday. Written testimony will be posted on OLIS and the committee meeting will be livestreamed on OLIS.

Support for Employees/Trabajadores

The Oregon Employment Department has helpful information on their website to provide clarity during these uncertain times for employees who are out of work due to COVID-19.

El Departamento de Empleo de Oregon proporciona beneficios de Desempleo (UI por sus
siglas en inglés) a la mayoría de trabajadores que se encuentran desempleados por causas
ajenas a su voluntad. Para recibir beneficios, los trabajadores deben cumplir ciertos
requisitos. En general, para recibir beneficios de desempleo para una semana, usted debe
poder trabajar, estar disponible para trabajar, y buscar trabajo que pueda hacer. El Departamento de Empleo también ha creado el buzón
para preguntas sobre coronavirus relacionadas con los programas y servicios de
empleadores y solicitantes de empleo.

Employee Info English

Support For Small Businesses/Empleadores

Small businesses that have had to reduce the amount of hours employees work by 20 to 40 percent may be eligible to participate in the Workshare program. This program enables employees to receive unemployment benefits while they are still working under reduced hours. This can serve as a lifeline, but employers must sign-up and initiate this process for employees to gain benefits. The Oregon Employment Department has helpful resources and answers to frequently asked questions, available here. In addition, Business Oregon has a number of tips and resources available for small business owners on their coronavirus response page, available here

Una opción a considerar es si puede utilizar el programa Work Share de Oregon. Ayuda a
los empleadores a evitar las cesantías al reducir los horarios de los trabajadores, en lugar
de cesarlos, mientras que los beneficios ayudan a compensar los salarios perdidos de los

Support for Families & Food Security/Conseguir Comidas


Multnomah County school districts are continuing to offer bagged lunches for students.

211info Child Care provides free, customized referrals to child care providers and strategies for finding quality child care in Oregon .For information and resources on finding quality child care, click here. To speak with a Parent Educator about child care resources:

Call: 211 or 1-866-698-6155

Text: keyword children or ninos  to 898211 (TXT211)

Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Para obtener información sobre el acceso a los alimentos para las familias, llame al 211 o visite aqui.



Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get the most accurate and up-to-date information about COVID-19?

We need more tests to be widely available. How is the state addressing this? 

This is a dilemma nationwide. The Oregon Health Authority announced new steps to expand access to COVID-19 testing. State epidemiologists have updated COVID-19 testing guidelines to emphasize that outpatient clinicians can order a test for the virus from a commercial laboratory, at their discretion, without OHA authorization. In addition, the procedure for collecting a COVID-19 sample is no longer classified as a high-risk, airborne testing process, requiring N95 masks. Under the recommendations, health care providers will only be required to wear a regular mask, gown, gloves, and eye protections, making the procedure for safely collecting samples simpler to administer for health care workers and easier to obtain for patients. More information will be forthcoming. 

How can I avoid getting coronavirus or spreading it to others?

  • Practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from anyone else
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water and avoid touching your face.
  • Avoid contact with sick people and stay home if you’re feeling ill. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

It is important that we all continue to practice self care during these uncertain and scary times. Getting plenty of exercise, reading, and staying in contact with your family and friends are great ways to relieve some of the anxiety that many of us are experiencing. Feel free to reach out to my office with any questions or concerns. 



Representative Barbara Smith Warner
House District 45

email: I phone: 503-986-1445
address: 900 Court St NE, H-295, Salem, OR 97301