New Developments & Department Updates

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Representative Smith Warner

New Developments & Department Updates


Yesterday, Gov. Kate Brown announced that in-person classes will be cancelled for public school students for the remainder of the academic year. While this was not a surprising development, it is certainly disappointing to hear. This means that students will be utilizing distance learning through the end of the year. 

Accompanying the Governor’s announcement, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) released Graduation Pathways 2020, the official guidance detailing how Oregon’s high school seniors can earn their final set of high school credits and graduate on-time. 

As a mother of two high school students, I understand the anxiety many families are feeling about the impact this pandemic has on our children's education. The Graduation Pathways will help to ensure the commitment and dedication of our students is not lost as a result of school closure for the remainder of the year. This is an informative resource for high school seniors and their families to utilize and anticipate what to expect. 

To slow the spread of COVID-19, state agencies in Oregon have adapted to social distancing guidelines and have enacted new protocols to ensure the health and safety of everyone. Here is information on what is being done across multiple departments.

Oregon Health Authority

The Oregon Health authority reports up-to-date information regarding testing statistics that can be found on their website. You can review the daily update and read the weekly report that details the overall picture of the COVID-19 response across government agencies.

Department of Corrections 

Governor Kate Brown has requested information from the Department of Corrections (DOC) to consider possible early release strategies to decrease the spread of coronavirus within Oregon prisons for inmates who are immunocompromised and approaching the end of their sentences. More information regarding the potential of early release is forthcoming. The Oregon Department of Corrections  has reported eight confirmed cases of COVID-19 and have taken several actions to implement social distancing within institutions, community corrections offices, and worksites:

  • All DOC prisons are closed to visitors, volunteers and the majority of contract employees. This visiting closure is unprecedented. In response, Telmate, DOC’s communications provider, announced that each adult in custody would be provided two 5-minute, no-cost phone calls per week through April 30, 2020.
  • Modified line movements to limit the number of AICs in common areas.
  • Chapel seating is measured to maintain social distancing and attendance limited.
  • AICs are staying together by unit.
  • Staff have placed blue tape on the ground six feet apart, indicating where people should stand in line.
  • Limited the number of AICs that can sit at dayroom tables
  • Eliminated group activities in the yards.

Ensuring Access to Medical Care

Undocumented Oregeon residents can be tested or seek medical treatment for COVID-19.This is free coverage covered through the Citizen Alien Waived Emergency Medical (CAWEM) benefit which includes emergency services related to coronavirus. In addition, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will not consider testing, treatment, or preventative care (including vaccines, if a vaccine becomes available) related to COVID-19 as part of a public charge determination. This will not negatively affect you as part of a future public charge analysis.

Acceso a Las Prestaciones Sanitarias

La gobernadora ha llegado a un acuerdo con las aseguradoras para que las personas no tengan que pagar nada de su bolsillo por las pruebas hospitalizaciones por COVID-19. Los beneficios del Plan de Salud de Oregon (Oregon Health Plan, OHP) para la Asistencia Médica de Emergencia para Extranjeros sin Requisito de Ciudadanía (CAWEM) incluye servicios de emergencia relacionados con el coronavirus (COVID-19). Esto incluye pruebas en la sala de emergencias de un hospital y ser hospitalizado si es necesario. Si no desea inscribirse en el OHP, puede consultar a un médico a través de la clínica de salud de su condado o de una clínica de salud habilitada a nivel federal (Federally Qualified Health Center, FQHC). 

The Gorge is Closed to Tourists 

The Oregon Department of Transportation, U.S. Forest Service and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department have closed an additional seven mile stretch of Historic Columbia River Highway. This action was taken to discourage people from visiting Vista House, Multnomah, Horsetail, Shepperd’s Dell, Wahkeena and Latourell Falls and other recreation destinations that remain closed since the Governor’s Executive Order. 

TRIMET’s New Service Changes & Safety Precautions

  • TriMet continues to supply face coverings for operators and is awaiting a donation of reusable cloth coverings from Multnomah County. The agency is encouraging passengers to wear face masks based on the new CDC recommendations. 

  • Temporary service reductions went into place on Sunday, April 5. Most bus lines and WES Commuter Rail are running less often. No extra MAX trains are running during the morning and afternoon commutes. The new schedules are now posted at

  • Trimet is not accepting cash payments to pay for fare. You must use a Hop card to pay until further notice. This temporary change limits the amount of time and contact  passengers have with operators. You can call 503-238-RIDE (7433) or email

Temporary Rule Changes

A temporary rule change will allow available EMS providers licensed or certified by another state or providers with current certification or provisional certification to obtain a short-term provisional license to practice as an EMS provider in Oregon. This will help aid coronavirus response efforts and increase staff capacity.

Helpful Resources 

Coronavirus Response Information:

Employment/Business/Consumer Information:

Food Resources:

Health & Safety Information:

Please reach out to my office if you have any additional questions, or if there’s anything you think I could help with. 



Representative Barbara Smith Warner
House District 45

email: I phone: 503-986-1445
address: 900 Court St NE, H-295, Salem, OR 97301