Stay Home & Stay Safe

Representative Smith Warner

Hello friends and neighbors, 

I hope you are in good health, both physical and mental. It’s been wonderful to see how resilient our community can be when we come together and support one another during these ever-evolving times. Every one of us, at every age, plays an integral part in flattening the curve to protect hospital capacity and our most vulnerable populations. That is why we must continue to follow social distancing measures and treat the coronavirus as the serious public health crisis that it is.


CONSTITUENT ALERT

If you have a child enrolled in a public school, routinely check your respective district website for announcements about education resources for families, health services, meals, and childcare.The State Department of Education has created a helpful tool to answer questions regarding K-12 education while schools are closed .


Oregon Health Authority Announcements 

As of 3/22/2020, 8:00 a.m. The Oregon Health Authority reported 161 positive cases of COVID-19. Up-to-date information can be found on their website

  • $4 million in state funding  is being allocated to the nine federally recognized tribes of Oregon and the Urban Indian Health Program to support COVID-19 response efforts.
  • Oregon COVID-19 Situational Status Report for March 22nd  lists the status of positive and negative test statistics, burn rate of personal protective equipment  and a summary of other information on the state emergency response to COVID-19. As you can see from the graph below, there is a crucial need for PPE. 
PPE Info

If you are interested in making a donation, volunteering or offering services you can do so by filling out the appropriate survey on the Office of Emergency Management website here. This will ensure products and services meet CDC and other public health guidelines.


National Update

  • The Department of  Treasury announced that the deadline to file taxes has been extended from April 15th to July 15th. Oregon’s Department of Revenue is working to determine how and if to move Oregon’s deadline as well - we will keep you posted.
  • A supplemental funding package will go into effect that will provide $7.8 billion in new funding to help with coronavirus response efforts nationwide that include free testing, and funding for family leave. 
  • The Department of Education announced that students impacted by school closures due to the pandemic can bypass standardized testing for the 2019-20 school year. 
  • ICE will not be conducting enforcement operations at or near healthcare facilities, such as hospitals,doctors' offices, urgent care centers, and accredited health clinics. ICE will focus efforts on individuals subject to mandatory detention based on criminal grounds. I continue to believe that we should have a moratorium on any ICE operations during this time.

Governor's Update 

  • The Oregon Medical Station (OMS) is a mobile 250-bed facility assembled as an alternative site for 250 nursing home residents at the Salem Fairgrounds that aids in COVID-19 response efforts.
  •  Residential evictions for nonpayment will be prohibited statewide during the crisis for at least the next 90 days.
  • Higher education institutions must transition their curriculum to online learning, prohibiting in-person classroom interactions through April 28th.
  • New guidance for school districts to come up with plans to strategize emergency childcare services for health care workers and first responders. 
  • Extension of K-12 school closures until April 28th.
  • Elimination of statewide testing for this school year.
  • Expansion of options in how DMV is addressing Oregonians who have expiring drivers’ licenses or need vehicle registrations and trip permits
  • All restaurants, bars, and places that serve food or beverages have been closed to on-site consumption (with the exception of takeout and delivery services) for four weeks.
  • Halt of non-essential dental and veterinary procedures, as part of the effort to preserve personal protection equipment. .
  • Closure of  all Oregon State Parks starting March 23rd.
  • Finalized unemployment insurance rule which makes it easier for those who are laid off because of COVID-19 to file for unemployment insurance benefits. Information can be found here.
  • Restrictions on gatherings over 25 people remain in place.

State Legislature Recap & Update 

Shortly after the conclusion of the short session, the Emergency Management Committee convened to allocate:

  • $11 million to support services for Umatilla County flood victims
  • $5 million to Oregon Health Authority towards COVID-19 response
  • $5 million to the Department of Environmental Quality to implement strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • $2.7 million to the Office of Emergency Management for  all-hazard emergency preparedness and training

It is only a matter of time before a special legislative session is called to address pressing issues ahead of this public health crisis.

 Currently, the Joint Special Committee On Coronavirus Response is monitoring public health strategies, identifying actions to provide economic relief and support for affected communities. The committee convened March 20th at 1 pm. They discussed the role of the COVID - 19 Healthcare System Response Joint Task Force and the Unified Command Emergency Response coordination and proposals for legislative action. The committee is scheduled to continue to meet throughout this week.

If you would like to  submit ideas, feedback and testimony, email  jscvr.exhibits@oregonlegislature.gov by 5 pm, Tuesday, March 24. Written testimony will be posted on OLIS and the committee meeting can be watched or  livestreamed on OLIS.


Multnomah County Update

  • Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler held a press conference with Governor Kate Brown encouraging the public to take stricter social distancing measures. You can watch the press conference here. 
  • Multnomah County & the City of Portland  implemented a moratorium on residential evictions for nonpayment of rent due to wage losses from the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Court hearings on eviction proceedings will be suspended until April 30, 2020, or later.
  • Any place of lodging within Multnomah County, including hotels and motels, must accept and/or retain housing for any individual whose payment is subsidized by the County or a County contractor.
  • Expansion of homeless shelters and hand washing stations.

Additional Resources 

Sincerely,

Sig

Representative Barbara Smith Warner
House District 45

email: Rep.BarbaraSmithWarner@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1445
address: 900 Court St NE, H-295, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/smithwarner