COVID-19 Update: May 1st

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Representative Smith Warner


This morning, Governor Kate Brown held a press conference to unveil plans for dramatically expanding COVID-19 testing and contact tracing in Oregon. This is a major aspect of Oregon’s framework for reopening parts of the economy, developing intervention strategies, and making incremental changes to the current Stay at Home Order. We are all in this together – Republican and Democrat, urban and rural - this disease does not discriminate or know any borders. That is why it is so important that we work together across the aisle to make responsible decisions that keep Oregonians safe and help our state recover. Information from Oregon Health Authority’s statewide modeling report shows the coronavirus infection rate is easily impacted by changes in physical distancing policies and public adherence to community mitigation strategies. In order to reopen Oregon, we must all work together to significantly slow the spread of  COVID-19 and protect the people who are most susceptible to this virus.



Oregon Health Authority Update                                                                                      The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reports up-to-date information regarding testing statistics that can be found on their website. Most recently, COVID-19 testing has increased by more than 9,000 tests per week in Oregon, with a cumulative total of more than 56,000 tests performed as of April 28, 2020.You can review the daily update and read the weekly report that details the overall picture of the COVID-19 response across government agencies. Here are some of the intervention strategies that are being implemented to stop the spread of COVID-19: 

  • Starting today, OHA will begin tracking presumptive COVID-19 cases in its daily reports, consistent with recently amended guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The first results of that revised tracking will be reflected in the daily report for Monday, May 4.
  • Identify a data system to handle expanded contact tracing, whether an adaptation of an existing system or a new system. Stand up and integrate such a data system into the contact tracing process
  • On May 1, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) changed its clinical testing guidelines for medical providers so more people with symptoms can be tested.
  • By May 7, develop a staffing plan to support immediate work on contact tracing and case management. LPHA/tribe recruitment of community health workers and other local personnel should be prioritized and supplemented with resources identified and recruited by OHA. 
  • By May 18, develop contact tracing training modules for the expanded contact tracing workforce. 

Non-Emergency Procedures Resume, Guidance Moving Forward                            Today, Governor Brown’s Executive Order No. 20-22, went into effect.This allows ambulatory surgical centers (ASC) and other care settings to resume elective and non-emergency procedures that require PPE. The various industry guidance and criteria regarding reopening are available below:

  1. Hospitals 
  2. Ambulatory Surgical Centers
  3. Medical and Dental Offices
  4. Veterinary Facilities

Oregon Department of Revenue Issues New Rule for Businesses Subject to CAT  Earlier this week, the Department of Revenue filed a new rule to provide small businesses subject to the Corporate Activity Tax additional flexibility. Under this new rule, businesses subject to the CAT who owe less than $10,000 will not have to make quarterly estimated payments. Instead, businesses that fall into this category will not have to pay their CAT payment until April 15, 2021.  Information and a worksheet for calculating quarterly payments can be found on the CAT page of the agency website. The Department of Revenue will honor a business taxpayer’s good-faith efforts to comply and not assess penalties if they document their efforts to comply, including how COVID-19 has impacted their business.

Safe & Strong Campaign                                                                                                    OHA and the Governor’s office have partnered to create a public awareness campaign designed to assist Oregonians from various cultural backgrounds. The website has ample information for individuals and community based organizations looking for culturally relevant tools and resources. Resources are available in 12 different languages and cover an array of topics such as food, housing, unemployment benefits and healthcare. Safe & Strong is actively looking to partner with community-based organizations to develop toolkits and resources that support and amplify work to provide to community members.

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


Rep. Smith Warner 


Representative Barbara Smith Warner
House District 45

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