Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update: May 12th

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Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

Thanks for taking the time to read this newsletter, I hope you are staying well and connected to friends and family, even when physically distant from them.  I also hope you had a chance to safely enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend.  In this update you will find information on our state and local budget forecasts, small business assistance, case data, education and graduation updates, and more information about reopening Oregon safely.  As some of our counties move to reopen in the coming weeks, it is important that we keep safety at the front of our minds.  In order for our counties and businesses to be able to reopen safely, they will rely on help from all of us.  That help can come in many forms, foremost is that we must stay local.  It will be tempting to visit The Coast or The Columbia Gorge if those areas reopen, but Phase 1 reopening is for local travel and business only.  As some more retail and other businesses open in our area, we also have to do our part to make that economic activity safe, by keeping our distance and wearing masks whenever we are around others or inside a building that is not our house.  Keep workers and other customers safe by wearing your mask! 

How to wear a mask

How to Wear a Mask: make sure it covers your nose, mouth and chin, removie it by holding the earloops or strings only, and wash your hands after removing!

New Developments

  • Oregon’s Budget: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our state is facing an unprecedented economic crisis that will have significant impacts on our state budget. The budget reduction lists released by the Governor’s office and state agencies provide a window into a worst-case scenario for our state. But no cuts have been made at this point and these lists are not final.  In a recent news release, Governor Brown stated “We anticipate a significant budget impact in the state revenue forecast coming on May 20, which will lead to some really difficult decisions. Our early discussions indicated this impact could be a reduction of $3 billion for the current budget period. We are exploring all available options to weather this recession, and I have directed state agencies to prepare prioritized reduction plans equaling a 17 percent reduction for the upcoming fiscal year as a planning exercise to explore all options. We haven’t made any final decisions, and the agency plans serve as important information gathering at this point. We know a potential cut of this magnitude would be extremely drastic.” You can read her full press release here.  You can also read this OPB Article, which provides a good summary of the situation facing us.  
  • Governor Brown, Speaker Kotek, and President Courtney joined the governors and legislative leaders from five Western states to request $1 trillion in direct relief to states and local governments in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic in order to help avoid deep cuts to services like public health, public safety, public education, and helping people get back to work. The full letter is available here, and Oregon Public Broadcasting has more details here.
  • Small Business Funding: My colleagues and I on The Legislative Emergency Board recently allocated $5 million to provide financial assistance for small businesses (25 employees or fewer) that have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and haven’t received any federal emergency assistance. This funding, coupled with an additional $5 million from Business Oregon, will have three rounds of funding. The first round of funding consists of $2.5 million that will be matched dollar-for-dollar by local economic assistance programs. Awards will be made to public entities (cities, counties, economic development districts, council of governments) that have or will develop a community business assistance program in response to the pandemic and are able to meet the guidelines of the program. More information on how local public entities can apply is available here.
  • Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding is still available so small businesses can continue to pay their employees for up to eight weeks. These loans are forgivable if the guidelines are followed.  You probably saw the headlines about the glitches in the program early on – the demand was huge and financial institutions worked hard to push some 14 years’ worth of funding through in the first 14 days! As of May 1, financial institutions in Oregon had obtained more than 31,000 loans for small businesses, totaling over $3 billion. The good news is that as of May 8, there was still about $125 billion in funding available. Contact your financial institution or find a participating lender here.
  • Invitations have started going out for the Key to Oregon Study on COVID-19. The Key to Oregon study will gather essential data to help leaders make public health decisions at state and local levels with the goal of getting people back to school and work faster while avoiding a second wave of infections. An OHSU research team will enroll 100,000 randomly selected Oregonians who volunteer for the study. The team will track the temperatures and other COVID-19 symptoms of all participants. Participation is completely voluntary.

Case Data

  • National Numbers: 
    • Confirmed Cases: 1,342,594 (up 18,106 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 80,820 (up 1,064 from yesterday)
    • These national numbers come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  You can view their national and state by state data here
  • Oregon Status Report:  Oregon now has 3,358 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19.  Today we have 61 new confirmed cases and 11 new presumptive cases.  Tragically we have had a total of 130 Oregonians die from COVID-19.  Washington County still has one of the highest case counts at 587 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 5/12/2020).  You can review on-going updates from OHA by clicking on the table below. 
Sit Stat May 12

This table breaks down case counts and other information about COVID-19 cases in Oregon, click on the image to be directed to the OHA site for more information

Education Updates

Budgets: Due to the budget and revenue shortfalls caused by COVID-19, state and local governments are facing difficult budgetary decisions:

  • The Oregon Department of Education has posted their draft reduction plan here
  • The Forest Grove School District is working on saving money during this school year to alleviate some of the budget strain for the 2020-21 school year.  Their plan is to have 5 furlough days this year, and to utilize the state’s “WorkShare” program to save costs.  You can read more about the district’s cost saving strategies here.  The furlough days will be:
    • May 15, 2020
    • May 22, 2020
    • May 29, 2020
    • June 5, 2020
    • June 12, 2020 (June 11th will be the last day of school)
  •  The Hillsboro School District is also planning to make use of the “WorkShare” program, as well as implementing a spending freeze effective immediately; and a hiring freeze - with the exception of hard-to-fill-positions - effective immediately. You can read more from Superintendent Scott here.  Tonight at 5:40pm the Hillsboro School Board Work Session and Budget Meeting will be livestreamed on YouTube

Graduation Plan-Hillsboro School District: Drive-up graduations to take place at the Hillsboro Stadium. The schedule is below and will allow for each student to exit their vehicle, one at a time, to walk across the stage and receive their diploma. Video will be taken and edited together to be released later in June for all to experience a virtual commemorative graduation. See all details and other events that will be occurring as part of the graduation festivities here.

  • June 1 - Hillsboro High School
  • June 2 - Liberty High School
  • June 3 - Century High School
  • June 4 - Glencoe High School
  • June 5 - Make-up time will be provided in the late afternoon/early evening for all schools
  • June 6 - Hillsboro Online Academy, Miller Education Center/GED/5th year seniors, Community Transition Program, and additional make-up time.

The week of June 1, our high schools will be assigned days and times at which they will invite their graduates to the Hillsboro Stadium. 

Portland Community College: 

  • PCC is offering more resources to students and community members in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, learn more here
  • PCC’s Nursing Program is also working to find ways to graduate nursing students despite the closures.  Thank you PCC for supporting students and our community through this crisis!

Reopening Oregon: Safe and Strong

Washington County Update:

Washington County Commission Chair Kathryn Harrington has released the following statement (see below, and linked here) on where Washington County stands in regards to Governor Kate Brown's plan for Reopening Oregon. 

Additionally, the Washington County Board of Commissioners discussed this plan at today's board meeting. Here is a link to the agenda. See ways to watch here.

Chair Harrington and Sheriff Garrett

"Washington County is working hard in collaboration with our neighboring counties to meet Governor Brown’s criteria for reopening sometime in early- to mid-June, but that will be based on meeting the Governor’s criteria, including ensuring that the region’s COVID-19 cases are decreasing by that point. Ultimately our reopening plan must also receive approval by the State of Oregon.

It is important to remember that the Portland metro region, including Washington, Clackamas and Multnomah counties, has a bigger population and more cases of COVID-19 than other counties in rural parts of Oregon.  Because the Governor’s criteria for reopening is harder to meet in our county, we will be opening later than other counties.

The Governor outlined several criteria or prerequisites for counties to reopen, so here is where we are in meeting them:

Contact tracing: 

Washington County is on track to having the staff needed to meet the Governor’s contact tracing guidelines by early- to mid-June.

Isolation and quarantine: 

Thanks to outstanding work among community-based organizations and the activation of a respite shelter in a former hotel, Washington County currently has the capacity to meet the isolation and quarantine prerequisite for new cases. 


Under the Governor’s criteria, our six-county region must be able to do 30 tests per 10,000 people. We understand that the region has the capacity to meet this standard now. 

Declining hospitalizations:

Washington County has had declining COVID-19 hospital admissions over the last 14 days, so we are meeting this prerequisite currently. 

Personal protective equipment (PPE) and health care capacity: 

Washington County currently has sufficient personal protective equipment for our first responders. We also have sufficient hospital capacity for a surge if cases increase once we reopen. 


Governor Brown is also allowing certain businesses to reopen as of May 15 if these businesses follow specific protocols, including:

  • Stand-alone furniture stores, boutiques, art galleries and jewelry stores, so long as they can follow distancing, face covering and safety protocols. 
  • Childcare, summer schools and youth camps, so long as they can meet specific criteria set out by the state. 

Other businesses in Washington County will have to wait until we get approval from the Governor for Phase I to begin. When these businesses reopen, they will need to meet state guidelines for safety which include customers and workers wearing face coverings if they cannot guarantee the six-feet distance requirements among people. This face-coverings requirement will be mandatory in pharmacies, grocery stores, salons, public transit and ride-share businesses. Using face coverings is strongly recommended in other businesses as well. 

Based on this guidance from the Governor’s Office, Washington County has been working on a reopening plan that will be reviewed by our County Board of Commissioners at our Work Session on Tuesday, May 12. The public is welcome to listen to the meeting through our live YouTube stream, but public testimony is not part of this particular meeting.

Finally, it is important to remember that we will not go back to “normal living” until there is a safe, effective vaccine that is available throughout our community. People should still keep six feet of physical distance, wash their hands frequently and wear face coverings while in public. These actions, together with restrictions on visits to long-term-care facilities, will still be especially important for protecting the historically underserved and high-risk populations who are more likely to have serious complications or even die as a result of COVID-19. 

I know this is a challenging time for everyone. I also know that this disease is having a disproportionate effect on those who are currently marginalized and historically underserved. We all need to do everything we can to reduce the spread of this virus by following the safety measures set out by Governor Brown. Doing so will save lives and help our county avoid having to go back to closure, repeating the economic impact on our community that we’ve just gone through. 

Thank you for all that you are doing to keep our community healthy and safe."

-Kathryn Harrington

Chair, Washington County Board of Commissioners

*Follow along with each County in Oregon as their plans to reopen are submitted on Governor Brown's COVID-19 Resource Page.

Safe Practices for Reopening

Other Reopening Updates

32 of Oregon’s 36 counties have submitted applications to the Governor to enter Phase 1 of the Governor’s Reopening Framework.  The Oregon Health Authority and The Governor’s Office will be reviewing these applications to ensure that counties meet all prerequisites to open safely.  As parts of our state begin to reopen, it is important that we all remain within our local communities, and not travel to counties or areas that have reopened, that means no trips to the coast or central Oregon if counties there reopen.  It is up to all of us to determine how effective our phased reopening is at preventing the spread of disease, while allowing more economic activity.  Businesses need to be able to keep customers and employees safe, and will rely on your help in wearing masks and remaining within your community.  

You can look at all of the county reopening plans on the Governor’s COVID-19 site.  

Other important reopening information on this site includes:

Food Assistance

The state has put together a program to help get additional food assistance out to families in need. Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon put together some helpful graphics to explain Pandemic EBT benefits via an Oregon Trail Card (EBT stands for electronic benefits transfer).

Pandemic EBT provides families financial support to cover the cost of groceries while your children are missing free meals during school closures. This benefit is provided to ALL families whose children receive free and reduced-price school meals in Oregon.

Food Assistance 1/2Food Assistance 2/2

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.  

We are in this together, we will get through this together: United Oregon

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