You are making a difference - COVID -19 update

Representative Christine Drazan

You are making a difference

Hello friends and neighbors,

I hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. I want to thank all of our front line workers and first responders for putting themselves out there so the rest of us can stay home and stay healthy. I am thankful for each and every one of you. It appears that we are "flattening the curve" and our efforts to stay home and save lives are working. It is important for us to remember, however, we need to flattening the curve, not the economy. I am eager to get back to our normal day to day contact which will allow events and activities to resume, through the reopening of businesses that were impacted by the governor’s executive order, to support jobs and families.

Employment Department Update


The Oregon Employment Department has begun ramping up staffing to meet Oregon's current need for Unemployment Insurance. Claims are being processed four times faster than normal as claims have jumped from 4,900 for the week of March 8th to 76,500 for the week of March 15th. 

What you need to know:

  • File online and you do not need to call in to check on its status;
  • They will contact you to complete the process;
  • Email at if you have a question, but if the question is about the status of your claim, please know that they will contact you to complete the process;
  • The U.S. Department of Labor and the Oregon Employment Department have relaxed SOME of the criteria to address COVID-19 related unemployment and this will be part of processing claims.

Help is on the way:

  • They have doubled the number and will continue to add more people to process claims;
  • They are adding more workspaces and shifts as we add people to create safe social distancing work environments;
  • They added a Saturday shift;
  • They filed emergency rules to allow us to process COVID-19 related unemployment insurance claims.

What you can do:

If you can file the initial claim online, please do. You are helping to free up the phone lines for someone else to get through. If you filed a claim online and received a confirmation number, it means the department received it, and you do not need to call. It will take the department longer than normal to contact you, and you might even find that when you go to make your weekly claim on the second week, the first one has not been processed yet. If that happens – you could get a notice that it’s not a valid claim, which would of course be concerning. It’s okay though. You can still keep filing claims online and you don’t need to call in for that. The department has your claim – even the error message one – and they're just catching up.

To begin an Unemployment claim, go to:

A helpful "how-to" video produced by the Employment Department:

how to file a new unemployment claim

Schools closed for remainder of academic school year in support of "Stay Home, Save Lives"


Using masks the proper way


cares act

Assistance for small businesses

I have been answering a lot of questions from borrowers and lenders alike about the Paycheck Protection Program. This program ensures that small businesses can continue to pay and cover certain costs during this health crisis. For up to eight weeks after the loan is made, this program can be used to cover the cost of payroll and other eligible expenses. Small businesses, eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they meet program size standards. 

  • For an overview of the program CLICK HERE
  • If you are a lender, more information can be found HERE
  • If you are a borrower, more information can be found HERE
  • The application for borrowers can be found HERE
  • More answers from the SBA can be found HERE.

Sign up for daily COVID-19 updates



If you would like to receive daily text updates on how our work at a state level against COVID-19 is progressing, you can sign up through the link below.

As always, it is my pleasure to serve my community, Please reach out to my office anytime.


Capitol Phone: 503-986-1439
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, H-395, Salem, OR 97301