COVID-19 Update


Senator Floyd Prozanski
South Lane and North Douglas Counties
District 4

900 Court St. NE, S-413, Salem Oregon 97301
Capitol phone: 503-986-1704
e-Bulletin                     March 26, 2020

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Dear friends,

I hope this finds you and your loved ones staying well at home. As the COVID-19 public health crisis continues to develop, these updates aim to provide vital, succinct information that you can use and share.

    Most important, please heed these three health safety guidelines. (1) Governor Kate Brown on Monday directed Oregonians to stay at home to the maximum extent possible in order to keep down infection rates of COVID-19. (2) Wash your hands often to keep the virus from spreading. (3) When you leave home, practice "social distancing" by remaining at least 6 feet away from others.

    State Senator Michael Dembrow (D-Portland) has been sending comprehensive daily updates that you may also find helpful, including about the federal stimulus package (excerpted below). You can review Sen. Dembrow's most recent update and sign up to receive his daily dispatches directly by clicking here.

    While your state lawmakers are working from home, we're on frequent conference calls about response and mitigation efforts. Some of us are preparing legislative concepts for an expected special session to address needs created by COVID-19, from providing relief for individuals who find themselves suddenly unemployed and small businesses hit hardest by the crisis, to addressing public safety needs and continued access to our justice system.

    Below you will find information on:

- Governor Brown's Latest Executive Order
        - Federal Stimulus Package
        - Guidance From Oregon's Attorney General
        - What to do if You Lost Your Job
        - 211info COVID-19 Resource Phone Number
        - Ways You Can Help

    The overarching message at this point is, "stay home, stay safe." It's literally a matter of life or death. As always, if you have questions, feel free to share them with me by phone, mail or e-mail.

                                                               Sen. Prozanski signature

Governor Brown's Latest Executive Order

    On Monday, 
the Governor issued Executive Order 20-12, directing Oregonians to stay at home to the maximum extent possible and adding to the list of businesses that are temporarily closed to stem the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon. The order, effective immediately, will remain in effect until ended by the Governor.

    Under the order, all non-essential social and recreational gatherings of individuals are prohibited immediately, regardless of size, if a distance of at least 6 feet between individuals cannot be maintained. Gatherings of members of the same residential household are permitted.

    The order 
closes and prohibits shopping at specific categories of retail businesses, for which close personal contact is difficult to avoid, such as arcades, barber shops, hair salons, gyms and fitness studios, skating rinks, theaters, and yoga studios. It requires businesses not closed by the order to implement social distancing policies in order to remain open, and requires workplaces to implement teleworking and work-at-home options when possible.

    The order also directs Oregonians to stay home whenever possible, while permitting activities outside the home when social distance is maintained. It closes playgrounds, sports courts, and skate parks, among other types of outdoor recreation facilities. Those that remain open are required to strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines.

    The order also outlines new guidelines for child care facilities, setting limits and rules on amounts of children allowed in care, and outlining that child care groups may not change participants.

    Failure to comply with the order will be considered an immediate danger to public health and subject to a Class C misdemeanor.

    Retail businesses closed by Executive Order 20-12 include:

  • Shopping - Outdoor and indoor malls and retail complexes, although individual types of businesses not subject to the measures may stay open.
  • Fitness - Gyms, sports and fitness centers, health clubs, and exercise studios
  • Grooming - Barbershops, beauty and nail salons, and non-medical wellness spas
  • Entertainment - Theaters, amusement parks, arcades, bowling alleys, and pool halls

    Other retail businesses will not be able to continue to operate unless they can implement strict social distancing measures and designate an employee or officer charged with ensuring compliance. Retail businesses able to adapt to take-out style shopping experiences can also remain open. If businesses can have employees work from home, then they must do so. Many of the businesses outlined in the order have voluntarily closed their doors already, to do their part to protect Oregon’s communities. In addition, non-retail businesses like manufacturers and the construction industry must ensure that their employees are maintaining social distancing measures.

    You can read the full details on all businesses listed in the executive order, here.

    In addition to businesses, Executive Order 20-12 orders state executive branch offices and buildings to close to the public and provide public services by phone to the extent possible. When public services require in-person interactions, the order requires social distancing measures to be implemented and enforced. State agencies must also facilitate telework and work-at-home for state employees whenever possible. While the order does not apply to local, federal, or tribal governments, those governments are strongly encouraged to follow these directives. The order also directs state agencies to close parks and other outdoor spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained––expanding on actions already taken by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

Federal Stimulus Package

    The federal stimulus package passed the U.S. Senate unanimously on Wednesday. It is truly significant that the bill made its way through Congress with such support. It will provide 2 trillion dollars in direct payments to low- and moderate-income households; direct grants and loans to businesses (including to small businesses); FEMA and other emergency funding; direct allocations to state, tribal, and local governments; support for K-12 and higher education; and funding for medical facilities, supplies, and equipment. A breakdown of its major provisions can be reviewed, here.

Guidance from Oregon's Attorney General

COVID-19 Scams and Price Gouging

Unfortunately, as is often the case when challenging events strike communities, fraudsters are trying to take advantage of this public health crisis. Scammers are setting up websites to sell bogus products, and using fake emails, texts, and social media posts as a ruse to take advantage of consumers' money and personal identification.

    The emails and posts might look legitimate at first — promoting awareness and prevention tips  but also include fake information. They also may be offering advice on unproven treatments, they may contain malicious email attachments, and they may want you to send money to victims.

    In order to avoid becoming a victim of a coronavirus-related scam, follow these six tips:

  • Don't click on links from sources you don't know. They could download a virus onto your computer or device. Make sure the anti-malware and anti-virus software on your computer is up to date. (One virus to worry about is enough!)
  • For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19, visit the websites of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you receive an email or text claiming to be from one of these, do not click  it could be an imposter scam.
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations. If you see ads touting prevention, treatment, or cure claims for the coronavirus, ask yourself: If there's been a medical breakthrough, would you be hearing about it for the first time through an ad or sales pitch?
  • Give wisely when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don't let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don't do it.
  • Be alert to scam "investment opportunities." The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is warning people about online promotions, including on social media, claiming that the products or services of publicly traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure coronavirus and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result.
  • Some businesses may try to make a quick buck off of the crisis by inflating prices for goods and supplies like face masks, toilet paper and hand sanitizers. Oregon law protects consumers from being charged excessive prices for essential consumer goods and services. (These also include food, shelter, bottled water, fuel and other items necessary for the health, safety and welfare of Oregonians.)

    To reach the Oregon Department of Justice's Consumer Hotline, call 1-877-877-9392 or visit

Security Tips for Telecommuters

While working from home can  and hopefully will  help slow the spread of the COVID-19, it brings new challenges: juggling work while kids are home from school; learning new software and collaboration programs; and managing paper files at home. Here are some tips for protecting your devices and personal information:

  • Start with cybersecurity basics like keeping your security software up to date. Use passwords on all your devices and apps. Make sure the passwords are long, strong and unique: at least 12 characters that are a mix of numbers, symbols and capital and lowercase letters.
  • Secure your home network. Start with your router. Turn on encryption (WPA2 or WPA3). Encryption scrambles information sent over your network so outsiders can't read it. WPA2 and WPA3 are the most up-to-date encryption standards to protect information sent over a wireless network. No WPA3 or WPA2 options on your router? Try updating your router software, then check again to see if WPA2 or WPA3 are available. If not, consider replacing your router. For more guidance, read Securing Your Wireless Network and Secure Remote Access.
  • Keep an eye on your laptop and cell phone. If you're using a laptop or a cell phone to work, make sure it is password-protected, locked and secure. Never leave it unattended  like in a vehicle or at a public charging station.
  • Securely store sensitive files. When there's a legitimate business need to transfer confidential information from office to home, keep it out of sight and under lock and key. If you don't have a file cabinet at home, use a locked room.
  • Dispose of sensitive data securely. Don't just throw it in the trash or recycling bin. Shred it with a micro-cut shredder. Paperwork you no longer need can be a treasure to identity thieves if it includes personal information about customers or employees.
  • Follow your employer's security practices. Your home is now an extension of your office. So, follow the protocols that your employer has implemented.

What to do if You Lost Your Job
(Compiled by The Oregonian)

    The following are steps to consider and resources if you find yourself out of work.

Where do I file for benefits?

    Unemployment insurance is available for most workers who lose their jobs "through no fault of their own." File online and do it as soon as possible  it takes a week for benefits to kick in and three weeks before payments start.

Do I need to seek a new job if my layoff is temporary?

    The Oregon Employment Department says that if an employer expects a layoff will last for four weeks or less workers do not need to seek a new job to receive unemployment benefits so long as they’re in contact with their employer and available to return to work when called.

What if I'm sick or quarantined, or want to stay away from work so I'm not exposed to the virus?

    Such people are not usually eligible for benefits under current law  though state and federal authorities are considering changes. However, the Employment Department encourages people staying away from work to avoid exposure to file a claim anyway. The department says it will gather information to see if any benefits apply.

If I'm getting paid during the layoff, or using vacation pay, can I receive benefits?

    Generally not.

If I contract COVID-19 (the disease associated with the coronavirus) on the job, am I eligible for benefits?

    In that case, file a workers' compensation claim, here.

If a doctor or government authorities order me to stay home, can I collect unemployment benefits?

    Yes, usually.

How much do unemployment benefits pay?

    The state has an online calculator for making an estimate.

How long do the benefits last?

    Generally speaking, 26 weeks.

I have more questions! Who do I ask?

    Write to the Employment Department at:

211info COVID-19 Resource Phone Number

    211info, the statewide social and community services information and referral line, has partnered with the Oregon Health Association to provide an information hotline for Oregonians looking for additional information on COVID-19. The information line is available seven days a week from 8 a.m to 11 p.m.

    211info can be accessed by dialing 211 (or 1-866-698-6155) to speak with a community information specialist or by visiting: Please note that due to increased call volumes, you may select the 'call-back' option to receive a return phone call instead of waiting on hold. On a daily briefing call yesterday, my fellow legislators and I learned that 211info is bringing on additional staff to handle calls.

Ways You Can Help

    Aside from following social distancing measures, the following are ways that you can help your community during this public health crisis.

Give Blood

    Like a hospital, grocery store, or pharmacy, a blood drive is essential to ensuring the health of the community, and the Red Cross will continue to hold blood drives during this challenging time. You are encouraged to keep your blood donation appointment or schedule one.

    To overcome some of the concerns about collecting blood, the Red Cross has taken additional steps to ensure the safety of staff and donors at each Red Cross blood drive. These steps and more can be found on the Red Cross' What to Know About Coronavirus Disease and Blood Donation Safety. Those who are healthy, feeling well and eligible to give blood or platelets are urged to make an appointment to donate as soon as possible by visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). 

Make Masks

    Many groups around the country, including several in Lane County, are coordinating to create reusable masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and address current shortages. These masks are intended for use by non-medical personal to reduce spread by infected persons. They are not intended to protect a person wearing the mask from being infected. (Even though the video suggests such masks might be used by medical personnel as a last resort, that is not the intended purpose of using homemade masks.) The idea is to help ensure better availability of N95 masks for medical personnel and first responders. If you're handy with a sewing machine, please consider helping out!

    Some medical providers are seeking volunteers to produce respirator masks for use by medical personal. (I understand PeaceHealth is working with a pre-selected group of volunteers to make masks for their use and accordingly, are not engaging the larger community in its effort.) You might want to check with your county health authority or local hospitals to see if they are seeking such assistance.

Give to Local Food Banks

Food for Lane County and the United Community Action Network coordinate hunger relief efforts in Lane and Douglas counties, respectively. If your resources allow, please consider supporting them at this critical time.

Support Small Business

    Order takeout from a local restaurant or pick up beer directly from your favorite brewery. Now more than ever, these businesses depend on your patronage, and many are getting creative to offer "touch-free" service.

Assist Animal Shelters and Rescues

    Here are a few ways to make a difference:

  • Contact a local shelter or rescue to find out their urgent requirements. Many of these groups post wish lists on social media and their websites. Share their social media posts to spread the word about critical items they need to take care of an influx of animals due to increased pet surrenders.
  • Many shelters and rescues are accepting donations of pet food to distribute to members of the community in need. The HSUS and other local humane societies are working to ensure food pantries also carry pet food.
  • While closed to the general public, many Oregon animal shelters, and rescues remain open for by-appointment adoptions or virtual-based adoptions like the Oregon Humane Society. Adoptions and fosters are more important now than ever as shelters and rescues will likely undergo temporary loss of staff and volunteers, limited resources and space, and a surge of animal intakes/surrenders.
  • If there are horse owners who need help with hay during this time of crisis, please have them contact the Oregon Hay Bank.
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