Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update: April 10th

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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope you have a good weekend at home, and enjoy the sun! Remember to keep up the social distancing, and stay in your own yard or neighborhood for outside activities. We are doing so well in our efforts to flatten the curve here in Oregon. We have saved lives and we will be able to go forward sooner. As my Grandpa Hobart would say, "We must stay the course!" 

Status Update

I am sad to report that four new people have died from COVID-19 in Oregon, bringing our statewide total to 48 deaths.  We have had 51 new confirmed cases since yesterday for a total of 1,371 cases statewide, with 311 confirmed cases in Washington County.  OHA is now reporting the breakdown of cases by race, gender and ethnicity, and reporting the number of cases in health care workers and congregate settings.  You can get more information at OHA’s COVID-19 website by clicking on the table below.

sitstat April 10

New Developments

  • SNAP Benefits to Increase in April and May: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will have an additional $30 million per month during April and May to help people on SNAP buy more food. If you are already enrolled in SNAP, you don’t have to do anything. To apply for SNAP, you can go here. Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon made this helpful guidance for households purchasing food through SNAP.
snap benefits
  • COVID-19 Rapid Testing: Oregon received 15 Abbott ID NOW rapid testing instruments from the Federal government. These point-of-care testing instruments will be vital for Oregon’s plan as we go forward. Oregon received radically fewer test cartridges than were needed: only enough to use three of the Abbott instruments. These three instruments and the accompanying tests were distributed to Curry General Hospital in Curry County, Pioneer Memorial Hospital in Morrow County, and Lake District Hospital in Lake County. Distribution is being prioritized based on these criteria:
    • Areas of the state with no access to COVID-19 testing. 
    • Areas of the state with a limited number of first responders. 
    • Areas of the state where courier services for the state public health lab and commercial labs are limited or unavailable. 
    • Areas with a high population of older adults and other at-risk groups. 
    • Areas where hospitals or clinics do not already have access to an Abbott ID NOW instrument.
PPE allocation matrix
  • Personal Protective Equipment: The Oregon Health Authority and the COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group have created an improved process for ensuring counties and tribes have the PPE they need. Instead of waiting for requests from the counties and tribes, PPE is now allocated based on an allocation formula based on population and case count.
  • Adjusted Trimet Schedules: On Sunday, Trimet decreased its service across the region (find the schedules here). Additionally, Trimet buses have a 10-15 capacity limit, and most seats are marked as unavailable, to keep riders 6 feet apart. Please avoid riding public transit and stay home if you are not commuting to work or accessing essential needs.  
  • Payroll Protection Program Loans: Senator Merkley’s office compiled a list of banks in Oregon that are providing Payroll Protection Programs Loans. To read a list, updated on April 8th, click here. Bank policies and programs are always changing, so his staff is continually checking back with banks and updating their list. You can access Senator Merkley’s up to date list of banks by going to his Main Street page.
  • Federal Student Loans: Big picture: federal loan payments are suspended by loan servicers. No payment is due through September 30, 2020. Below are updates that apply to more specific situations:
    • Working towards Public Service Loan Forgiveness? These months of suspended payment will count toward your forgiveness as long the other requirements are met
    • Loans in default? The Department of Education has halted collection of defaulted student loans.
    • Contacted about paying a fee on suspended payments? This is a scam. Contact the Oregon Attorney General to file a report online, or call the Consumer Hotline 1-877-877-9392.  
    • Private student loans? Your payments are not suspended. I encourage you to reach out to your servicer to explore other available options they may have. 
  • Testing Requirements for College Admissions: Starting the fall term of 2021, Oregon’s seven public comprehensive universities and Oregon Health & Science University will not require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores to be considered for admission. The press release is available online here.

A Special Session

Legislators across Oregon are doing their part by staying up-to-date on this developing crisis, and working to deliver accurate information and resources to our constituents.  We get daily briefings from the Governor’s office, agencies, and Emergency Command, and are in regular contact with our federal and local partners.  

A special session has been delayed by the need for clarity around the Federal CARES Act and what gaps remain to be filled. We have been using the added time to prepare.  Thanks to the work of the Joint Special Committee on Coronavirus Response, legislative leaders finished a draft bill to address Oregonians’ urgent needs in the face of this pandemic.

The draft bill, Legislative Concept 29, has temporary changes to state law, from housing to health care to small business assistance. You can read a two-page summary of the proposal here, and you can read the draft language here. This proposal does not contain any budget recommendations.

Some of the proposed changes include:

  • Enhancing existing moratoriums on evictions from rental housing or commercial properties.
  • Emergency siting of homeless shelters.
  • Expedited nutrition assistance.
  • Manufacturing of personal protective equipment.
  • Ensuring access to out-of-network health care or telehealth services.
  • Supporting small businesses through the Oregon Business Development Department.
  • Establishing hardship provisions for licensed professionals who cannot complete continuing education requirements.
  • Authority to the Chief Justice to suspend or extend timelines within the court system.
  • Providing flexibility for local governments to do their work.

Governor Brown is assessing which of the Joint Special Committee’s recommendations can be implemented by executive action. We look forward to continuing working with her on this response package in a future special session.

In the meantime, Speaker Kotek is working on an emergency funding package to respond to immediate needs of Oregonians. The package will prioritize needs like rent and shelter assistance, wage replacement for workers not eligible for unemployment benefits, assistance for small businesses, and support for domestic violence shelters.  I look forward to reviewing this package with my colleagues on the Emergency Board.

Volunteer Needs in Western Washington County

West County is in great need of volunteers and supplies to assist our most vulnerable community members through this crisis, especially to work on food distribution and delivery.  Check out this link to see if there is a safe volunteer or donation opportunity.  Remember to stay mindful of your household risk factors. If you or someone in your home is at-risk for severe COVID-19 symptoms, please call or email organisers to see if you can safely donate supplies or funds.  If your family is not at-risk, consider volunteering together. Volunteers from the same household are great assets: everyone can work in close proximity without added risk! 

If you work for an organization in Washington County (particularly west county) that is in need of volunteers, contact Brian Schimmel,, and he may be able to add you to this list!

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


april 2019 at the beach

Remembering other April days in 2019. If we stay home now, I hope by summer we can enjoy the beauty of Oregon! Stay the course! Stay Home. Save Lives!

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