Coronavirus Update: More Encouraging Data, Answering Your Questions

House Speaker Tina Kotek

Coronavirus Update: More Encouraging Data, Answering Your Questions

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As we enter another weekend under Stay Home, Save Lives, I want to again thank you for all you’re doing to get us through this crisis. This gets harder every day for so many reasons, but continuing to do what we’re doing is the main way we can speed up this process and gradually get our lives back to some kind of normal.

And a special Friday shout out to all the frontline workers everywhere – in our hospitals, grocery stores, child care centers, residential facilities, and other essential places across our state. Thank you!

We’re going to get through this. If you’re anxious or scared, please know that it’s normal to go through those emotions during an uncertain time like this. We’re all figuring out how to cope. Stay in touch with your family and friends as much as possible and know that there are resources available if you are struggling. Here are some resources from last Friday’s newsletter.

How about some hopeful news? We received updated modeling today from the Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM), some of which I'm posting below. It shows more encouraging news on limited virus transmission and hospital demand. At this moment, we are not in danger of overwhelming our state’s hospitals because of the work we’re all doing. For some comparison on the numbers, Washington State has suffered 603 deaths with 11,445 confirmed infections.

IDM COVID-19 Projections 4-17-2020

IDM COVID-19 Hospital Demand

Additional data in the report estimates that, by next month, we will have reduced transmission by 62% due to the Stay Home, Save Lives actions we're taking. That’s a huge deal!

There was also a model published today by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington indicating Oregon might be able to start reopening our economy by late May. While this is encouraging, the public health professionals who work on these models do not recommend that any governor make recommendations based on these projections.

Governor Brown made clear this week that any decision to start reopening our economy will be gradual and based on scientific data to ensure we are doing this right. I fully support that approach. These models are a piece of a broader puzzle and of course assumes we continue effective physical distancing with the Stay Home, Save Lives order.

Legislators Planning Emergency Meeting

Oregon Public Broadcasting published an article yesterday detailing the work the Senate President and I have been doing to put together a relief package for Oregonians through the Legislative Emergency Board. You can read the story here.

Our goal is to hold a virtual meeting next week where money can be allocated to address urgent issues like housing, small business relief, domestic violence, and helping workers who don’t qualify for unemployment benefits. I hope to provide more details early next week.

Answering Your Questions – Am I Getting a Relief Payment?

Question: I qualify for a CARES Act relief payment from the federal government, but I haven’t received the payment and repeatedly get the “we cannot determine your status” message when I try to use the IRS’ “Get My Payment” web page. What can I do?

Answer: This is really frustrating, and many folks are having the same problem. Unfortunately, there is no other way to check the status of a payment at this point. Sometimes the message means the IRS hasn’t verified an individual’s tax status or doesn't have their bank information and will need to send a paper check. It may be at least another month before everyone eligible for a payment receives a check. Also, just as information, the IRS has delayed processing of any paper returns for 2018 or 2019, which could be an issue.

My office has been in contact with Senator Jeff Merkley’s office, and they are aware of the payment issues people have been facing. I know this isn’t the most awesome answer, but it’s what we know at the moment. But please continue to reach out if you are experiencing issues getting your federal payment. We will stay in contact with Oregon’s federal delegation and get you more information as soon as it’s available.

The Latest News

  • Oregon is expected to receive $2.45 billion in federal coronavirus relief from the CARES Act, although there still remains a lot of questions as to how that money can be used. The Oregonian has more details here. The Oregon Center for Public Policy also has an analysis here.
  • Oregon will receive $38.6 million in Child Care and Development Block Grant funding to help support families’ child care needs and child care providers during the coronavirus pandemic. This joint release from Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden has more details. The state’s Early Learning Council recently approved a resolution in support of early learning system responses to the pandemic and reviewed a proposal for these new dollars.
  • Governor Brown issued an executive order to prevent debt collectors from accessing CARES Act recovery rebate payments. The Oregon Department of Justice will provide further guidance on this order as necessary.
  • Multnomah County has updated its eviction moratorium to align with Governor Brown’s executive order on the same topic, specifically expanding to protect commercial renters and not requiring residential renters to provide a reason or meet a specific notification deadline if they can’t pay rent. The county had previously passed an eviction moratorium before the state took more extensive action. The Oregonian has more information here.
  • The Oregon Health Authority announced 49 more diagnosed cases of coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 1,785. There have also sadly been six more deaths recorded, meaning 70 people have died in Oregon from the coronavirus. It’s important to remember that even though we have less than 1,800 diagnosed cases of coronavirus in Oregon, experts estimate there have been approximately 7,600 infections statewide as of April 10. These numbers will continue to rise as we increase testing, even if maintaining physical distance is working as it should.

OHA COVID-19 Update 4-17-2020

OHA COVID-19 Hospital Capacity 4-17-2020

Resources for People with Disabilities

I was concerned to read the report today that there have been coronavirus cases diagnosed in group homes for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Like other congregate care facilities, it’s important to monitor these situations and make sure we are doing everything we can to keep vulnerable Oregonians safe during this pandemic. Group homes for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities are smaller than nursing homes (they can’t have more than five residents per home), but people still live in close quarters and an outbreak can be dangerous. I’ll continue to monitor this situation. In the meantime, here are some coronavirus resources for individuals with disabilities:

OHSU Coronavirus Hotline

Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) has created a Coronavirus Hotline, which you can reach by calling 833-OHSU-CCC (833-647-8222), if you have questions about symptoms or care. The hotline will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. All online resources at OHSU related to coronavirus can be found here.

To read past newsletters, you can go to this link. For up to date information, please check this link to the Oregon Health Authority where regular updates are posted:

Please email me at if you have specific concerns that have not been addressed by the OHA. Our office will do all we can to help and protect all Oregonians.

Thank you for reading! We will get through this together.




Tina Kotek

State Representative
House District 44
Speaker of the House

email: I phone: 503-986-1200
address: 900 Court St NE, H-269, Salem, OR 97301