Don't Throw Shade at Physical Distancing

Senator Wagner

Statewide Update

Hello friends and neighbors,

As the sunny weather continues, I urge you to please keep up physical distancing efforts - our efforts are truly working to slow the spread of the coronavirus and save lives.

Today, Governor Kate Brown announced that Oregon, California, and Washington have agreed on a shared vision for reopening their economies and controlling COVID-19 into the future. You can read the full joint statement from Governors Brown, Newsom, Inslee at this link.

Governor Brown also announced that Oregon will be providing $8 million in assistance to the Oregon Food Bank, some of which will be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Read the full press release at this link.

Additionally, the national deadline for switching to the use of standardized Real IDs has been extended by a year to October 2021. The Oregon Department of Transportation is still on track to begin issuing REAL IDs July 2020, but we have another year to make the switch. See more info here.

CARES Act Payments

Most Americans will qualify to receive the Federal payments appropriated from the CARES Act. Direct deposits of the $1200 per person stimulus payments are going to start this week—but only for households that have been using direct deposit for their tax refunds or social security payments. Those who normally get their refunds by check, who haven’t filed recently, or for any other reason haven’t given their bank deposit info to the IRS will be issued checks—and that’s going to take longer, in some cases much longer.

If you don't have direct deposit, paper checks will be sent out according this schedule:

  • Taxpayers with income up to $10,000: April 24
  • Taxpayers with income up to $20,000: May 1
  • Taxpayers with income up to $40,000: May 15
  • The rest of the checks will be issued by gradually increasing income increments each week.

The good news is that the IRS has set up a way for you to contact them directly and give your bank information.  You’ll be able to do that here

If you don’t typically file a tax return, you will need to file a simple tax return. Low-income taxpayers, senior citizens, Social Security recipients, some veterans and individuals with disabilities who don’t otherwise file a tax return will still not owe any taxes. You must complete and submit the simple tax return before the IRS distributes the payments.

An FAQ from the IRS is available here and the IRS’s coronavirus relief page is available here

Health Insurance Information

If you have lost your health insurance coverage as a result of being laid off from work, you may be eligible for the Oregon Health plan. Here are helpful resources to ensure you remain covered. 

Job loss and health insurance coverage (OHA)

Your guide to getting health care coverage in Oregon (OHA / DCBS)

Oregon Health Plan member fact sheet about COVID-19 (OHA)

Filing for Unemployment

The Oregon Employment Department has a revamped website with new information, including the video below (click the image).


Click the image above to watch the Employment Department's video for how to file a claim.

Small Business Navigator

Business Oregon created a Small Business Navigator as a “one stop shop” for Oregon businesses to navigate the various relief and assistance options. You can find links to Federal and State assistance as well as other information and resources.

Domestic Violence and Child Welfare Resources

April is Sexual Assault Action Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month. As a member of the Oregon Attorney General's Sexual Assault Task Force, I'm so proud of the great work that Oregon Sexual Assault Task Force and Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence are doing across the state to prevent sexual violence and child abuse.

Yet, we sadly know that home isn't a safe place for some of our community members. Please consider reaching out to one of these resources if you need help:

  • If you are experiencing domestic violence a great place to start is The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
    • If you are concerned your phone or computer may be monitored try to reach out to a friend or neighbor for support or access to a safer option. 
  • Contact the Call to Safety Crisis Line at 1-888-235-5333 for referrals to local programs.
  • Or find local service providers online on the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (OCADSV) website.
  • The DHS Child Welfare Program will continue to operate the 24/7 statewide Child Abuse hotline to respond to reports of abuse and neglect. They are also working with community partners to maintain support to families. Report suspected abuse or neglect by calling the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline at 1-855-503-SAFE (7233).

Best Practices for Mental Health

  • Be patient with yourself. We are going through something unprecedented and scary.
  • Seek help. Many mental health providers are using telehealth methods to connect with new and current patients. Psychology Today is a good resource for finding a counselor near you. If you have health insurance, your provider will have a website where you can search for counselors in-network as well. 
  • Create a routine. Find whatever routine makes you feel good, and stick with it as best you can. 
  • Reach out to your community. None of us have to go through this alone. Call or video chat with friends, co-workers, neighbors, and family for support. 

Sharing Community Stories

I would like to share your stories of our communities working together to get through the coronavirus crisis. I know that there are so many stories of people helping one another to be resilient in these challenging times. Let's amplify these moments of solidarity, build hope, and get ready for the spring forward once this pandemic has passed.

Be well and take care.


State Senator Rob Wagner

email: I phone: 503-986-1719
address: 900 Court St NE, S-215, Salem, OR, 97301