Coronavirus Town Hall Follow-Up

David Gomberg

Coronavirus Town Hall Follow-Up

OK Everyone – take a breath. We are going to get through this.

I know many of you are unsure and concerned. We have never been through anything like this before. We have questions. Lots of questions.

Some of us may get sick. Many of us may suffer financially. All of us are going to be affected. But we are going to get through it because we’re all in this together. So take care of yourself. Take care of your family. And take time to care for your neighbors as well. Be kind. Be smart. Be patient. Listen to your better angels.

Thursday night, I was able to present a remarkable Telephone Forum. I had planned eight Town Halls for April across the district, but of course, had to cancel them. So I turned to technology. Fifteen hundred people listened in! Understandably, we were not able to get to everyone’s questions. But lots of good, concise, local information was presented.

Dr. Lesley Ogden, CEO of two of our hospitals, and Dave Price from the Small Business network helped frame the current environment. If you missed the call, I'm working on getting it uploaded to my website. Please find that URL at the bottom of this newsletter. It should be there Monday.

We tried to reach as many homes as possible. We also tried to phone each family only once, even if they have three phone numbers. And we provided a number where you could call in yourself. I’m planning another forum in a few weeks with an update.

My goal is to get you the best information available. But let’s be clear that everything could change by tomorrow. So I also want to give you places where you can get the most current, objective and real information.

Right now in Oregon there are 114 confirmed cases. Fortunately, none are in our district but we need to keep testings We are receiving the test kits we need to do more screenings. We face a shortage of personal protection equipment.

Wednesday, the Governor ordered hospitals, outpatient clinics, and health care providers, veterinarians and dentists, to cease all non-emergency procedures, in order to preserve PPE such as surgical masks, gowns, and gloves.

In-Person Information

If you have questions, Dial 211. 211 is the statewide social and community services information and referral phone line. They are partnered with the Oregon Health Association to provide an information hotline on Coronavirus. The phone line is available 7 days a week from 8 am to 11 pm if you want to speak to a live Community Information Specialist.

Social Distancing Remains Critical

There is no vaccine for Coronavirus. There is no medicine to treat it. So to keep our hospitals from being overwhelmed, our best response is to slow the virus. Some are calling that “flatten the curve”.

Social Distancing impact

Coronavirus is spread by personal contact. Without protective measures, the number of infected people can double every six days. Not everyone will get it. Eighty percent of those who do will have minor symptoms. But some vulnerable people will get very ill. And we have limited beds and equipment to treat them. Slowing the spread of Coronavirus is the only way we can handle the pandemic.

To minimize the spread, the State has taken a number of extraordinary steps.

  • Statewide cancellation of events and gatherings. In fact, the Governor recommends gatherings of no more than 10 people.
  • Schools are closed. Meals are being delivered to all our kids by each of our districts. For example, in Lincoln County, school busses are delivering food.
  • Restaurants and bars are now restricted to delivery and carry out or curbside pickup.
  • The Governor has prohibited visits to nursing homes and other group care facilities unless you are seeing a loved one who is near the end of life.
  • And the Governor has declared a market disruption to prevent price-gouging during the public health crisis. If you experience price gouging, or other predatory behaviors, please call the consumer complaint hotline at 877-877-9392.

Simple Guidelines for Grocery Shoppers During the COVID-19 Pandemic


There is no need to hoard merchandise.

Federal, State, and Local governments are working with the industries that provide your food and essential goods to keep your grocery store open and stocked.  The Covid-19 virus is not like a natural disaster that could immobilize trucks, or threaten water supplies.  Everyone should shop to have an adequate supply of food and essential products, but there is no need to hoard supplies to be safe.  Remember your neighbor behind you in line, they need toilet paper too!

Some grocers are offering special morning hours for senior and immune compromised populations to shop.  By coming early, these people will have the advantage of overnight stocking, smaller crowds, and be the first to enter after an overnight deep cleaning.  Please help by respecting this special time.

Do you know a senior or immune compromised individual?  Offer to do their shopping or help them navigate home delivery, even if it’s a neighbor you haven’t talked to in a while. Some stores will let them call ahead with orders so everything will be ready for you.

The State Legislature’s Response

The Joint Special Committee on Coronavirus Response had its first meeting on March 18 and met again today. The committee’s mission is to:

  1. Identify actions that will support economic relief and household stability for low-income workers and small businesses who are at risk of being significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Produce budget and policy recommendations for legislative action in a timely manner.
  3. Monitor Oregon’s ongoing public health response and make recommendations for further legislative action if needed.

Proposals include streamlining and expanding unemployment insurance, a moratorium on residential and commercial foreclosures or evictions, and creating more child care providers while kids are at home.  The first draft of their proposals can be found here

It is likely that Governor Brown will call a special legislative session in the coming weeks. We will most likely be taking up measures that provide economic relief for laid-off workers, small businesses, tenants, and landlords. I will keep you updated about that when I have more news to report.

I want to close by thanking the health care workers, the grocery store employees, the pharmacists, utilities, day-care providers, first responders, and everyone else that are needed on the job to keep us safe, secure, and as healthy as possible.

For some this will simply be an inconvenience but for many who’s families face illness, the loss of income or closure of their businesses the future is very uncertain. Please look for ways we can support each another.

  • The Red Cross needs blood. Make a donation.
  • Phone neighbors who may be elderly or without family close by.
  • Buy a gift card at a local business.
  • Fill out your online census form at

A crisis can bring out the best in people. Whether you are anxious about your health or seeking access to food, child care, rental assistance, or other critical resources, we need to help each other out when everyday routines are disrupted or neighbors are hurting. We are stronger as a community if we do.


Warm Regards,

Representative David Gomberg
House District 10


phone: 503-986-1410
address: 900 Court St NE, H-471, Salem, OR, 97301