Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update: April 17th

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Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

It is hard to stay positive when there is no clear end date for Stay Home, Save Lives, but I find hope in seeing how carefully and deliberately Oregon is considering the safest way to reopen.  The federal government issued guidelines for reopening state economies, leaving those decisions to governors in all 50 states on a case-by-case basis, and Governor Brown issued her initial framework for reopening Oregon’s economy on Tuesday.  You can read more about her initial framework here, and her response to the federal guidelines here

Keep measures in place
Keep agressive measures in place


Without a clear end date, I take comfort in the fact that the steps we are taking are working, and that there are people across Oregon making sacrifices for all of us, and putting themselves and their families in harms way to keep us all safe.  We are in this together and we will get through this together.  

New Developments

  • The Community Enhancement Program Committee, composed of the Forest Grove City Council and Forest Grove’s representative on the Metro Council, Juan Carlos Gonzalez, made available Community Enhancement Program (CEP) grant monies up to $25,000 for an Emergency Grant Program for immediate COVID assistance to those most vulnerable in Forest Grove.  This week grants were awarded to:
    • Adelante Mujeres, $3,806
    • Bienestar, $1,935
    • FG Foundation: Winter Shelter, $8,534
    • Family Justice Center, $958
    • Virginia Garcia Medical Health Center, $6,114
    • Forest Grove Elks, $3,650
    • Thank you to all of these organizations for all their good work in our community.  Keep it up!
  • Washington County received more than 2,200 applications for their small business assistance funds. They will be reviewing all applications received. Small businesses and nonprofits that will receive funding will be notified via email within the next week or so. Continue checking the Washington County Business Recovery Page for more information and updates on state, local and federal resources.  
  • Small Business Update: News outlets are reporting that the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program, which the federal government created as part of the CARES Act, has run out of money because so many small businesses (defined as employers with fewer than 500 U.S.-based employees) have applied for and been approved for this help. Initial data shows that Oregon businesses received 9,508 loans worth $2.43 billion, or roughly one percent of program funds.  Oregon’s Congressional delegation is working and advocating to direct more funds to Oregon businesses in the next federal package, and our local and state governments are also working to direct more resources to businesses. Keep checking Business Oregon and Senator Merkley’s Operation: Main Street for updates.  
  • ODE guidance for 9-11th grades: The Oregon Department of Education published guidance for high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors finishing the academic year through at-home learning. The department has already issued guidance for high school seniors, which can be found here. Like for seniors, letter grades are eliminated for the remainder of the year. The guidelines focus on the mental, social and emotional needs of high school students. Oregon Public Broadcasting has more details here.
  • Local Government Executive Order: Governor Brown issued an executive order to ensure that local governments allow for public participation in meetings while following the Stay Home, Save Lives directive and social distancing. The order also authorizes ways for cities, counties, school districts and other special districts to complete their budgeting processes on time so they can continue to provide essential government services. While it does not extend the deadline for local budgets, it does provide more flexibility for that work to be completed virtually and remotely.  You can read the full text of the order here.  
  • Unemployment Updates: I have heard from many of you asking about the “waiting week” for unemployment benefits.  Governor Brown has decided to waive the waiting period, which will unlock $100million more federal dollars for unemployed Oregonians.  These benefits will be retroactive for folks who have already applied, but due to OED’s antiquated computer system, it may take a while for this change to take effect, read more about this change in this KGW story.  OED is also working to get through the backlog of applications, and to make unemployment benefits available for independent contractors and other people eligible under CARES Act, who are not traditional eligible for UI.  Continue to use to contact OED about claims (they should get back to you within a week), read more here about contacting the department during, and subscribe for updates here.  Below you will find a breakdown of unemployment numbers across many Oregon business sectors from Oregon State Economists. 
Unemployment numbers
  • Planned Parenthood Health Centers are open and accepting patients via telemedicine! Use this link to find your local health center and schedule an appointment.  Planned Parenthood accepts OHP! 
  • Status Report: Since yesterday, we have had 49 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Oregon, bringing our total number of confirmed cases to 1785.  Tragically we have also had six more Oregonians die from Coronavirus, bringing the cumulative death toll to 70. Washington County still has one of the highest case counts at 383 confirmed cases. Click on the table below to see more updates and info from Oregon Health Authority.  
Sit Stat 4/17

Best Practices

In these times there is a lot of misinformation circulating, and a lot of people advertising products as cures and treatments for COVID-19.  I want to be clear, there is no treatment or drug that has been shown to be effective against COVID-19. On this, please trust the experts at the Oregon Poison Center



At this time, many of us are relying on delivery for food and other essentials, Check out the graphic below for some best practices for safe delivery.  

safe deliveries

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 with Wyden, Kotek, and on Metro Teams call

I miss being able to connect with my colleagues and constituents in person, but it was nice to see old friends and collegues over zoom at the final Metro T-2020 task force meeting on Wednesday

View Past Updates, Share and Subscribe: 

If there was COVID-related information in a past newsletter that you want to go back to, but find you’ve deleted it, you can always go to my legislative website (, click on “News and Information,” and you’ll find them all there. You can also share this site with your friends and loved ones, so they can view past newsletters, and subscribe to future updates.

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