Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update: May 15th, 2020

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Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

I hope all are taking care of yourselves and your loved ones.  Mental and physical health are both so important as we navigate our lives in this pandemic.  As we move towards partial reopening of parts of the state, we will need to respond to and prepare for many health, employment, economic and other issues.  It is important that we all do our part to protect our friends and neighbors by wearing masks.  The only path towards economic recovery is to address this health crisis and control the spread of this virus. 

Wear Masks/Face Coverings

Cornelius Mayor, Jeff Dalin and I are both taking steps to protect our community by covering our faces when we leave our homes. Keep reading to learn more about how to make or buy a face covering, and new guidance on when to wear them.

New Developments

  • 31 of Oregon’s 36 counties have been approved by Governor Brown to enter “Phase 1” of reopening.  You can find more details on what “Phase 1” means, what counties are approved, and the status of Washington County reopening below. 
  • Joint Emergency Board: Today, my colleagues and I on the Emergency Board met to consider the distribution of federal CARES Act dollars.  The Governor, President, and Speaker met in a series of meetings to discuss the CRF and the process of prioritizing its use. They agreed that the highest priority for the spending of the Coronavirus Relief Fund is on maintaining public health and actions that will keep people safe while enabling business to resume. In order to accomplish those goals, they decided to split the $1.39 billion state-only share of the CRF into three major categories: $450 million for state expenses, $415 million to local and tribal governments, and $525 million in reserves.  Click on the image below to watch the full meeting, or click here to read more about the funding framework and allocations made.  
Emergency Board

Image of my colleagues and I at our virtual Emergency Board Meeting, click on the image to watch a video of the full meeting

  • Paycheck Protection Program Dollars Still Available: If you were not able to access federal dollars for your business, it is not too late.  Business owners are encouraged to call the Governor's COVID-19 Small Business Navigator at 833-604-0880 for assistance navigating available resources. Lists of Oregon financial institutions providing SBA Paycheck Protection Program loans are available here for credit unions and banks.  
  • The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs has developed a new online tool to help guide veterans and their families in the wake of the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 and to inform them of any changes to their earned benefits. The veteran resource navigator is designed to assist veterans in finding the federal, state and local resources that are most needed for their unique circumstances in 2020.  Veterans can also access additional assistance, by calling an ODVA Veteran Resource Navigator at 800-692-9666.
  • OHA is working to increase the numbers of healthcare professionals willing to volunteer to be part of SERV-OR (the State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Oregon). You can read more about their efforts here.  To volunteer, or to find out more about SERV-OR, go to
  • Hillsboro Chamber Resources on PPE Vendors: The Hillsboro Chamber has compiled a list of vendors that provide the PPE supplies you need to open your doors. The Business Oregon Small Business Navigator site also has resources for finding PPE for your business.  
Hillsboro Chamber

Case Data

  • National Numbers: 
    • Confirmed Cases: 1,412,121 (up 27,191 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 85,990 (up 2,043 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 3,541 total confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19.  Today we have 63 new confirmed cases and 1 new presumptive case.  Tragically we have had a total of 137 Oregonians die from COVID-19.  Washington County still has one of the highest case counts at 620 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 5/15/2020).  You can review on-going updates from OHA by clicking on the table below.
Daily Update 5/15

Table showing Oregon case, testing and demographic data, link to more information

Reopening Updates

Starting today there is new guidance that applies statewide, to businesses and individuals whether they are in counties entering Phase 1 or remaining under Stay Home Save Lives.  

Face Coverings

I have heard from many of you with questions about face coverings.  Face coverings do not mean medical grade masks or PPE, they can be a bandanna, a homemade cloth mask, or anything that covers your nose, mouth and chin and can be secured without impairing the ability to breath.  While the official guidelines for when and where to wear masks in Oregon can be found below and linked above, here is a helpful CDC resource for understanding how to make and wear masks and face coverings.  The Oregonian published this helpful article about places to purchase bandannas and balaclavas to use as face coverings. 

  • When riding public transit, an individual must wear a face covering unless the individual:
    • Is under two years of age.
    • Has a medical condition that makes it hard to breathe when wearing a face covering.
    • Has a disability that prevents the individual from wearing a face covering.
  • It is strongly recommended that individuals, including children between 2 and 12 years of age, wear a face covering at all times in settings like grocery stores or pharmacies, where it is likely that physical distancing of at least six feet from other individuals outside their family unit cannot be maintained, and vulnerable people must go.
  • Because children between the ages of two and 12 years of age can have challenges wearing a face covering properly (e.g. not touching the face covering, changing the face covering if visibly soiled, risk of strangulation or suffocation, etc.) we urge that coverings be worn with the assistance and close supervision of an adult. Face coverings should never be worn by children when sleeping.

A business must:

  • Require employees, contractors and volunteers to wear a mask, face shield, or face covering, unless an accommodation for people with disabilities or other exemption applies.
  • Provide masks, face shields, or face coverings for employees
  • If it is a transit agency, require riders to wear face coverings and provide one for a rider that does not have one, and develop policies and procedures as described below.
  • Develop and comply with policies and procedures that provide for accommodations and exemptions from the mask or face covering requirement for employees and contractors based on:
    • State and federal disabilities laws if applicable, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which protects people with disabilities from discrimination in employment and requires employers to engage in the interactive process for accommodations.
    • State or federal labor laws where applicable.
    • State and federal public accommodations laws that provide all persons with full and equal access to services, transportation, and facilities open to the public.
    • OHA public health guidance if applicable.
  • If customers or visitors will be required to wear a face covering, develop a policy and post clear signs about any such requirements. A policy that requires customers and visitors to wear face coverings must:
    • Provide exceptions to the policy to accommodate people with certain health conditions, or children under two years of age.
    • Take into account that places of public accommodation must make reasonable modifications to their policy to allow people with disabilities to access their services.
    • Take into account that requiring people to wear face coverings affects people differently including people of color who may have heightened concerns about racial profiling and harassment due to wearing face coverings in public.
    • Consider whether to provide face coverings for customers or visitors who do not have one.
  • Require employees and contractors to review the business’s policies and procedures related to:
    • Employee accommodations and exemptions.
    • Customer and visitor face covering requirements
  • Further guidance for employers statewide

Childcare Facilities

Starting today there will be new guidance for childcare providers across the state.  Child Care providers are allowed to resume operations if they follow this guidance.  If a provider would like to remain or become an “Emergency Child Care” provider, they must use a separate set of guidance.  Non-emergency providers must prioritize care for essential workers but may also serve all families who return to work in phased reopening.  The guidance issued (linked above) sets out requirements for child to caregiver ratios, cohort requirements and operational policies.  

Transit Agencies

Oregon Health Authority has released new guidance for transit agencies across the state.  This guidance is effective as of today, and relates to issues such as minimum distance between passengers, requirements for face coverings and best practices for space between driver and passengers.  

Summer School and Summer Program Guidance

In an effort to bring students back to classrooms safely, ODE has issued new statewide guidance for in-person instruction for summer school and other summer programs. The guidance ensures that all in-person instruction minimizes health and safety risks while improving student connections and learning. The guidance requires all summer educational settings to develop communicable disease management plans, with measures for infection control, physical distancing, screening for COVID-19 symptoms, and contact tracing.

Summer Camp Guidance

As Oregon children transition from the school year to summer, OHA has also issued new statewide guidance for the safe operation of summer camps. All camps must have a communicable disease management plan in place for staff and for youth.

Guidance for Oregonians Experiencing Homelessness and Service Providers

The intent of Governor Brown’s executive order is to ensure the health and safety of all Oregonians during the COVID-19 pandemic, whether individuals are sheltered or unsheltered. Updated statewide guidance reiterates that COVID-19 health and safety directives are not to be used to criminalize homelessness.

Button for Phase 1 info


Counties Approved to reopen are: Baker, Benton, Clatsop, Columbia, Coos, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, Wheeler and Yamhill.

Marion and Polk Counties applied to reopen, but do not yet meet the necessary prerequisites, their applications will be reevaluated next week.  

The Metro Area Counties: Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas, have not yet met the necessary health and tracing requirements, so they have not yet applied to enter Phase 1. 

Phase 1 map

Map of counties approved to enter phase 1 of partial reopening

Washington County’s Status: 

Washington County is working hard to meet Governor Kate Brown’s requirements to apply for partial reopening (“Phase 1”). You can read Chair Harrington's statement from May 8, 2020, where she discusses the potential timeframe for reopening Washington County. Bottom line: We hope to apply by early June, mid June at the latest.

The governor has laid out seven prerequisites. Some are measured at the county level; others are required at the health region level, which includes six counties: Washington, Multnomah, Clackamas, Columbia, Clatsop and Tillamook.

  • Declining prevalence of COVID-19 (County)
  • Minimum testing regimen (Region)
  • Contact tracing system (County)
  • Isolation/quarantine facilities (County)
  • Finalized statewide sector guidelines (State)
  • Sufficient health care capacity (Region)
  • Sufficient PPE supply (Region and county have different requirements


Washington County Reopening Status


Washington County COVID-19 Case Numbers

Interested in applying for a position as a contact tracer? The Oregon Health Authority has a contact tracing interest form on their website.

Unemployment Updates

Unemployment Claims-Progress

The Employment Department has made remarkable progress in getting through the backlog of initial filing, but there are still thousands of Oregonians awaiting processing of their claims.  86% or 3335,046 initial UI claims have been processed, along with about 10,000 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims.  The department is continuing to expand its ability to process claims by hiring more personnel and working seven days a week to process claims. The programming and implementation of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program is underway for those who have run out of benefits and remain unemployed due to COVID-19 related business closures. If you would like more information visit the CARES Act section on the department website.

Many people who are not eligible for regular UI are eligible for the PUA system, but there is a separate application. PUA Initial and Weekly Claims can now be securely uploaded online.  If you have filled out a traditional unemployment claim and haven't heard back, or have been denied, you can apply for PUA using this application, and using the existing PIN that was established in your other application.  

If you receive an automated message about a claim not being processed, do not assume your claim has been denied, it is probably just that your initial claim has not been processed yet.  If you are unsure of the status of your claim, please keep filing your weekly claims.  If you receive a claim denial in the mail, use this email to contest the denial: Remember to include as much information as possible in your emails to the department, but especially your CID number.  

If you have process questions about how to file, or about the status of your application, consider emailing or calling your local WorkSource office in order to get answers to your questions.  Those workers are not themselves working on claims, but I’m told that they’ve been able to help many workers with their questions.  Here’s a page that provides local office contact info.

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.  

Mt. Hood

I’ll leave you with this image of our beautiful Mt. Hood, while we still can't visit these natural beauties in person, pictures help!  I hope you all will take care of yourselves and enjoy the weekend safely and locally!

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