Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update: April 2nd, 2020

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Hello Friends,

Thank you to everyone who has shared their stories or ideas with my office, and to all of the essential heroes who are on the front lines protecting our community.  Grocery workers, truck drivers, delivery workers, medical providers, educators, school employees and more; you are keeping us safe and healthy! Please continue to stay in touch, and share this newsletter with anyone who may benefit from more information on this developing health and economic crisis.  I will be hosting a Virtual Town Hall soon, so stay tuned for details.  

New Developments

  • Status Report: There are 826 total positive cases in Oregon, and 21 total deaths reported. In Washington County, there are  211 positive cases and 4 deaths reported.
SitStat 4/2

Status Report on cases and other data regarding testing and hospital capacity, link to more information from Oregon Health Authority

  • Yesterday, Governor Brown announced Executive Order 20-13, which you can read in full here. EO 20-13 creates a moratorium on non-residential evictions, and expands the residential eviction moratorium to cover evictions related to other non-rent payments like utilities and late charges. Here are more details:
    • The ban on residential evictions for not paying rent is expanded to include any nonpayment of late charges, utility charges, or any other service charge or fee. It also includes no-cause evictions.  
    • If you can’t pay your full rent when it is due, you must notify your landlord as soon as reasonably possible, and make partial payment as much as you are financially able.
  • Special Session: Governor Brown sent a press release today regarding the timing of a special session, and you can read it here. In summary, the Governor explains that the special session will be called to create legislation for Oregon’s specific needs after the Federal government has clarified the stimulus package. This will allow us to avoid duplicate measures and fill gaps in the Federal relief package. 
    • 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.
    • Yesterday was Census Day! That means that when you fill out your census form, you fill out the information based on where you were living on April 1st, 2020. It’s even more important now than ever that every Oregonian gets counted, and every Oregonian receives their representation and federal resources. For more information and to fill out your census form online, click here. (Note: to fill out the census online, you will need to have the paper notice you received in the mail with you). 
  • Washington County Sheriff Update: Sheriff Garrett is committed to a high standard of safety, inside and outside of the county jail.  To keep incarcerated individuals and staff safe, fewer people are being brought to and kept in jail.  Crimes are still being investigated and arrests and citations made, but the Sheriff's Department is working with partners to limit the number of people entering the jail.  All in-person visits (social and legal) are suspended. A free, weekly social video-call is provided, as well as confidential, virtual access to lawyers. Read a comprehensive update here, and click the image below to view a message from Sheriff Garrett. The best thing we can do to help out our Sheriff’s Office is to Stay Home and Save Lives. 


Sheriff Garrett Video

Sheriff Garrett Video Update, link to video

  • Washington County Hospital Bed Update: Our Tri-County Command officials are hopeful that social distancing measures are working, and if we stay the course, we will not require many more hospital beds. They are preparing for a potential patient surge, and coordinating area hospitals to meet demand, if necessary.  In Washington County, St. Vincent’s Hospital and a nearby church are prepared to create nearby “field hospitals” with tents. For non-critical patients who can’t go home, there is a temporary medical operation at the State Fairgrounds for recuperation. Salvation Army, Community Action, and more community partners are working with local motels and hotels to provide rooms for folks experiencing homelessness and need a safe place to recover.  
  • Update from Employment Department: From a historic low number of unemployment insurance claims, to a historic high in just a few weeks, the Employment Department is working to increase their processing capacity. Here are a few updates:
    • The Department is increasing capacity by hiring and redirecting large numbers of personnel, getting support from other state agencies, creating rapid response teams for when one employer lays off many employees, and updating their processing systems
    • The COVID-19 website has been updated and is very helpful. There is a lot of information and resources in multiple languages, and you can subscribe to get updates, read FAQs, and file claims online.
    • Read fact sheets in English and Spanish
    • As soon as Governor Brown signs the agreement with the Department of Labor, beneficiaries will start receiving the added $600/week along with standard unemployment benefits.
    • If you were not employed for long enough to qualify for traditional unemployment benefits, you may still qualify for pandemic employment assistance. Guidance about the CARE Act has not made that process clear yet, but we will continue to keep you updated. 

Best Practices for Mental Health

  • Be patient with yourself. We are going through something unprecedented and scary. If you are working from home, remember that it is normal to struggle to focus or be productive. If you are not working, you may be struggling to seize the day and create an impressive craft or master a new hobby. Give yourself the time and kindness to process and relax every day.
  • Seek help if you need it. 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. Get dressed and have a consistent morning alarm and bedtime. Plan (socially distant) activities throughout the day, like outside exercise or virtual happy hours.  
  • 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. 

Student Safety at Home

This crisis affects everyone in our community differently. Tragically, for some students, social distancing measures at our schools means keeping them closer to an abusive relationship in their lives, and distancing them from people who can help them. The safety of our children through this crisis is of utmost importance. Teachers and caregivers are still legally required to report suspected abuse, even when teaching at a distance. Here are some guidelines from the Department of Education to continue to support children in unsafe situations:

  • ODE has created a resource on their website for teachers or caregivers to monitor the physical, social, and emotional safety of their students. It includes a section with multiple links devoted to mental health and social support.
  • Assign written assignments and journals, and keep an eye out for concerning communications. 
  • If you can’t reach a family regularly, read this guidance on how to do a wellness check and contact them.
  • If an LGBTQ+ student does not feel accepted or safe in their home, here are some counselling supports and guidance.

Info and Resources for Volunteering in the Community

I have been inspired this past month to see so many people in our community offering their assistance in any way they can. I’d like to provide you with information to get connected to volunteer efforts. 

  • Keep your well-being in mind before you volunteer. If you or a member of your household is older than 60 years old, or have any underlying medical conditions, please stay home. Your health is the most important thing you can take care of right now. 
  • If you have older children (13+) or other adults in your household that are feeling stir-crazy, take them volunteering! It is very helpful to have households volunteer together, as they can work in close proximity to each other. 
  • State Response Volunteer: To volunteer for the state-wide Emergency Command Center’s response, find the form to volunteer here. You will also find forms on that site to donate PPE or create a business contract with the State.
  • Houseless Community in Western Washington County: The Winter Shelter of Cornelius and Forest Grove is coordinating support for our community members experiencing houselessness. There is a huge need for volunteers and community engagement.  If you would like to volunteer or be involved in their work, you can contact Brian Schimmel at
  • Meals on Wheels: If you would like to support our older neighbors by delivering meals, you can learn more about being a volunteer for Meals on Wheels here. If you are in an at-risk group, you can donate to Meals on Wheels here.  
  • Oregon Food Bank: Find volunteer opportunities with the Oregon Food Bank here


Additional Resources

Employers and Employees

The following list of resources is from Oregon’s Secretary of State’s Office. The fastest way to get in touch with the SOS team is by emailing, using the “Need Help?” button found on most state agency websites or visiting

Education Links

Local Government

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance



Oregon Health Authority


Susan and Teachers

Representative McLain with fellow teachers

I am missing my teacher friends and volunteer activities, but I am still connecting with them through calls, texts, and social media.  I will keep staying home to protect them and other members of my Oregon and Washington County communities.  

Yours truly,

Representative Susan McLain

Representative Susan McLain
House District 29

email: I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-376, Salem, OR 97301