Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update: April 27th

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Purple flower

Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

Thank you all for everything you are doing to keep Oregon safe and healthy, your efforts are making a difference, and they are appreciated.  The most recent modelling suggests that we have averted over 70,000 infections and over 1,500 hospitalizations because of our Stay Home Save Lives efforts.  We need to keep up this good work, and continue to scale up our testing, tracing and supply sourcing efforts.  

Red Flower

The flowers are blooming at my house and they make every day a blessing.

New Developments

  • Colorado and Nevada Join California, Oregon, and Washington in Western States Pact: As you may remember, Oregon joined California and Washington to create a Western State Pact to coordinate our strategies for re-opening.  As Governor Brown said: “Each of our states took quick and decisive action, based on science and data, to stop the spread of COVID-19. In the same way that we share expertise and help one another during wildfire season, we will work together as we recover from the impacts of this pandemic––with a shared vision, a common purpose, and individual paths forward tailored to the needs of our states––to reopen our communities and economies, and prepare our constituents for a safe return to public life.”  I am glad to have Colorado and Nevada join us in this strategic planning, we are all in this together! You can read the full announcement here.
  • Drive Through Testing: Drive-through testing, overseen by Walgreens pharmacists, will be available in Hillsboro by appointment only for patients who have completed an online health assessment and meet federal and state eligibility standards. Walgreens will be using an Abbott ID NOW rapid COVID-19 testing instrument to return test results within 24 hours. Read the Governor’s full announcement here. Complete the online screening here.
  • The Oregon State Fire Marshal once again extended the order that lifts the statewide ban on self-service gas. Oregonians will be allowed to pump their own gas through May 9. The Oregonian has more information here
  • Payroll Protection Program, back online: If you were unable to access federal government support for payroll protection in the first round, you have another opportunity now.  Some banks are not requiring businesses to re-apply if they applied in the first round and were not able to receive funds.  Contact your lender as soon as possible, as funds will likely run out again this week.  Learn more on the Business Oregon, Small Business Navigator Site
  • Federal and Education Updates: Watch this weekend’s Straight Talk with Laural Porter for updates on the State and Federal Responses to COVID-19.  In the A-Block, Senator Wyden discusses unemployment, small business assistance and what help is coming from the federal government.  Then in the B-Block, Oregon Department of Education Director, Colt Gill, discusses distance learning, when schools might reopen, and why there is no option for letter grades during the closure.  
Wyden and Colt Gill on Straight Talk

Click on this Image of Senator Wyden on Straight Talk with Laural Porter to wathc the whole show

  • Hillsboro School District-Meal Delivery: HSD has made some adjustments to their meal delivery service, and a few of the bus routes have been altered.  Read more and see if your route was changed here.

Case Data:

  • National Numbers: 
  • Oregon Status Report:  Oregon has 43 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 since yesterday, bringing our total number of confirmed cases to 2,354.  Tragically, we have had a total of 92 Oregonians die from COVID-19.  Washington County still has one of the highest case counts at 475 confirmed cases.  You can read more details about today's numbers here (note this directs you to a PDF of Oregon’s case counts and other data as of 4/27/2020).  You can review on-going updates from OHA by clicking on the table below. 
Sit Stat, April 27th

Best Practices for Tele-Work

Many of us are doing our best to be healthy and productive working from home, but it is not easy! Here are some resources from FEMA on how to stay healthy while working from home.  You can read the full article here.

  • Fidgeting is actually beneficial. Mayo Clinic researchers in 2005 concluded the more you move – even tapping your feet under a desk – the less likely it is that you will gain weight. Small movements have major lifestyle impacts.
  • Take frequent breaks. Stand up and stretch to keep blood moving to all your limbs. Many of us have lots of reminders and alarms going off on our computers and phones. Try challenging yourself to use those reminders as an opportunity to do push ups or squats beside your desk,or just stand up and take a lap around the room .
  • Combat the pantry with healthy snacks. At a certain time, we all feel hungry when working from home. Prepare healthy snacks of fruits and vegetables ahead of time and avoid the chips.
  • Stand for your calls. When participating on conference calls or taking phone calls, pace around the house. This is a tactic to stimulate the body and mind and is frequently suggested as a good practice when participating in a job interview by telephone.
  • Trade your commute time for exercise. When teleworking, use the time saved from commuting to exercise. Whether it’s a brisk walk around the neighborhood, a run or workout video, a little exercise has physical and psychological benefits during the workday.
  • Keep cords under control. Computer cords and telephone chargers can become a tangled mess and cause trip hazards. Avoid this risk by ensuring there is no path between your workstation and your outlet.
  • Plan for mobile work. Mobile work and tele-work requires that employees transport laptops daily between home and office. The extra weight may require you to consider back strengthening exercises or an ergonomic briefcase design to ensure safe carrying.

Unemployment Update:

Over the weekend, legislators received an update from the Employment Department about the unemployment benefits available, improvements made, and upcoming changes.  Whether you are already receiving benefits or not, I recommend you read the full update here. Below are some highlights: 

  • The department has processed more than 230,000 new claims in the last month.
  • People are submitting weekly claims—AS THEY SHOULD—but until the initial claim has been approved, the subsequent claims cannot be processed.
  • Claims are being backdated as needed. Applicants will be eligible for retroactive pay once their claim is sorted out and approved.
  • This includes the additional federal weekly benefit of $600.
  • As recommended, huge numbers of people have taken advantage of the direct email address. That’s good.  The downside is that claims processors are not able to keep up and meet the promise of responding in under a week.  They hope to catch up this week.
  • Work Share benefits are also being processed slowly. (Work Share is the program that allows workers who have not been laid off, but whose hours are reduced to receive benefits to make up for those lost hours.) 
  • Some employers are concerned that their low-wage workers may be receiving more in benefits than they were when they were working and won’t want to return.
  • Some workers are worried about being called back to work earlier than they feel safe to return and risk exposure.
  • Explains several confusing messages that applicants may have received while trying to file.
  • Pandemic Unemployment Benefits: CARES Act Benefits for independent contractors, self-employed individuals, and others who are not eligible for traditional unemployment, should be able to start applying at the end of this week.  Keep checking the EOD Website, and subscribe for updates to see when this application process is finalized.  

How to Use Zoom

While we are staying home because of COVID-19, many of us are using Zoom and other video platforms to connect with colleagues, family and friends. These are invaluable resources for staying connected, but they can be overwhelming or non-intuitive to figure out.  Here is a brief tutorial on how Zoom works.  

How do I access Zoom? 

You can view a video tutorial about how to join a meeting here and read helpful tips from zoom here.

On your computer: You can access Zoom on your web browser or through the desktop application. To download the desktop application for free, visit I recommend downloading it in advance of any meeting you hope to attend. When it comes time for the event, press “Click Here to Join” on your registration confirmation or invitation, and you will automatically be directed to the application. If you do not want to download the application, you can access the meeting from your browser by following the same link. If accessing Zoom through your browser, Google Chrome is recommended. 

On your cell phone: Zoom also has mobile applications available for free on the Apple and Google Play Store. Downloading this app will allow you to take part in the town hall from your phone. 

By telephone: You can also access the meeting on your telephone. Your registration confirmation will include a teleconferencing and meeting ID number. Simply dial the teleconferencing number into your phone and then when prompted, enter the meeting ID number using the dial pad followed by #. Though you will be able to hear everything being said, you will be unable to see any of the visual presentations, and if the conference is muted, it will be harder to let the host know you have a question or comment.  

Additional Resources

Employers and Employees

Education Links

Local Government

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance



Oregon Health Authority


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.  

KB and Rep McLain

I want to thank Governor Brown for her steady leadership and for the strong and diligent work she and her staff have been doing over the last six weeks.

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