Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update: May 27th

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Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

I hope you have been enjoying the nice weather as much as I have been! Fresh air and a connection to nature are very important to physical and mental health.  We must take time to relax and get away from the screens and the stresses of working from home or being cooped up. 

Photo-Susan and Garden

New Developments

  • Lessons learned from Memorial Day Weekend: Yesterday on OPB’s “Think Out Loud” business owners and local leaders spoke about how the weekend went, and how they are feeling about reopening so far.  Worth a listen!
  • PPE for Farms: This week, 1 million KN95 masks and 5,000 gallons of hand sanitizer will be distributed at no cost for farmworkers and agricultural producers in Oregon thanks to hard work and collaboration from various state agencies and county partners. Limited supplies will be provided at each site until supplies are fully distributed. For more information on how to obtain PPE supplies, click here
  • Summer Camps: While we still don’t know many of the details of what Summer school and camps will look like this year, we do have some updates on guidance for these camps and programs. 
  • Safe Routes to School Poster Contest: All Hillsboro kindergarten through eighth grade students are invited to participate in a City of Hillsboro Safe Routes to School Program Poster Contest, while practicing physical distancing and learning remotely!  The City is looking for creative, original posters that either show students’ favorite walks or rides (bike, scooter, skateboard) in Hillsboro.  Students can enter to win prizes and have their artwork featured on future Safe Routes to School advertisements and at a City building. You can find more contest details here.  
Safe Routes to School Contest

Safe Routes to School, Poster from a Hillsboro Student

Case Data

  • National Numbers: 
    • Confirmed Cases: 1,678,843 (up 16,429 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 99,031 (up 770 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 4,038 total cases (confirmed and presumptive) of COVID-19.  Today we have 71 new confirmed and presumptive cases.  Tragically we have had a total of 148 Oregonians die from COVID-19.  Washington County still has one of the highest case counts at 703 confirmed cases, however we are seeing a downward trend in the number of new cases.  You can review on-going updates from OHA by clicking on the table below. 
Daily Update May 27

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

  • The Oregon Health Authority  recently provided a Public Health Indicators Dashboard to enable communities across Oregon to monitor COVID-19 in the state.The dashboard, which will be updated weekly on Thursdays, provides a transparent report that presents complex epidemiological data in an interactive, easy-to-understand way on a state and county level.
OHA Data Tableau-Traced Cases

Graph showing the number of cases per day, and the proportion of cases that have been traced to a known source

Food and Housing Resources

Rental Assistance:

Last month, my colleagues and I on the Emergency Board allocated $8.5 million in rent assistance for Oregonians impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. This rent assistance was dedicated to individuals needing help with rent because of the pandemic and who had been earning at 50% or less of the area median income.

Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) has distributed these funds to regional Community Action Agencies (CAAs), who will distribute this rent assistance. You can find out more about these community organizations here.

Community Action (CAO), Washington County, (503) 648-6646

Food Assistance:

  • Here’s a resource for understanding SNAP eligibility as it relates to immigration status: 
  • NEEDFOOD.OREGON.GOV is the state's new 1-stop site for all food assistance. Flyers in 12 languages can be downloaded from this site.
  • Details of pandemic policy changes to public nutrition assistance are kept updated at
  • Pandemic-EBT: If you are already receiving SNAP benefits or free and reduced meals at school, you already qualify for this additional benefits, and they should be added to your Oregon Trail Card automatically.  If you don’t already receive one of these benefits, you may still qualify if you have reduced income due to COVID-19.  You can apply here, or call 2-1-1 for more information.  
Pandemic EBT

Graphic explaining Pandemic EBT benefits and eligibility, link to more info

New Food Resource:  St. Matthew Church in downtown Hillsboro (475 SE 3rd Ave.) will help distribute 600 free food boxes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. These boxes are full of either fresh produce from Pacific Coast Fruit, dairy products, or a combination of both. The food boxes will be approximately 20-25 pounds and will be available to anyone. There are no income limits or program requirements. Each vehicle/family will receive one box.  The church is also recruiting volunteers. Call 503-648-1998 ext. 245, if you wish to help.

Update for Hillsboro School District Meals:  Friday furloughs require some changes to the Hillsboro School Meal distribution.  Students will receive meals for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday on Thursdays. The furlough day for the week of June 8 will be on Thursday, June 11, which means that meals for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday will be distributed on Wednesday, June 10. That will be the final day of meal distribution for the 2019-20 school year. 

There was also one slight change to the Tobias/Minter Bridge route ( to accommodate the parking lot repairs at Minter. The Minter Bridge stop was moved to Jacquelin and Brent St.

Forest Grove School Meals: So far, FGSD has not announced any meal disruptions due to furloughs.  More information on their meal distribution is available here

Make Your Voice Heard


Oregon Health Authority is looking for community feedback on the State Health Improvement Plan.  This helps guide OHAs work over the next 5 years. The purpose of Oregon’s State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) is to identify population-wide priorities and strategies for improving the health of people in Oregon. The SHIP serves as the basis for taking collective action on key health issues in Oregon. Five priorities have been identified for the 2020-2024 SHIP, and you can give your feedback on any of them: 

  • Economic drivers of health, including housing, transportation and food
  • Institutional bias
  • Adversity, trauma and toxic stress
  • Behavioral health
  • Access to equitable preventive care


Congestion Pricing is an important part of our state strategy for financing important infrastructure projects and reducing our congestion issues.  The Oregon Department of Transportation is looking for community feedback on the I-205 and I-5 congestion pricing projects. There will be an opportunity at the beginning of the meeting for interested members of the public to provide a brief verbal comment. If you think you may like to share your ideas during the meeting, please plan on joining the webinar. If you would rather submit a written comment, you can do so in advance of the meeting by sending your comment to by 5 p.m., Friday, May 29. Comments received in advance of the meeting will be posted online.


The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) has launched a survey to learn what Oregon residents think of available telecommunications services. Residential telephone and cellular service customers are encouraged to take this survey to provide input about the quality of service received and whether there is access to appropriate telecommunications services for individuals and communities to thrive.

To take the survey, visit:

The survey is intended to provide a voice to Oregon residents using telephone and cell services. The results will help inform a report that is due to the Oregon State Legislature as part of our investigation required by House Bill 3065, which passed in the 2019 Legislative session. This bill directed the PUC to establish a public process to investigate the continuing relevance of the “carrier of last resort” or COLR obligation on the state’s telecommunications providers given the recent changes in technology and policy in the industry. The COLR obligation requires telephone companies to provide access to telephone service in their designated service territory without discrimination.

For additional information on the COLR investigation, visit:

Business Guidance

Masks and Face Coverings:

Businesses are adapting their policies to address public health and safety concerns. In light of COVID-19,  the Governor has created guidelines to address business policies and practices of wearing a mask for employees and customers. 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 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.

You can read the full guidance here


The Supply Connector resource is Business Oregon’s collaborative project to connect businesses and communities with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) manufacturers and suppliers to fight the spread of COVID-19 and keep employees safe.  This tool provides a searchable database of businesses we have identified that can help provide PPE. The system also serves to connect businesses up and down the supply chain from raw materials, manufacturing needs, packaging, distribution, etc.

  • Business Oregon also has a smaller list available for direct PPE suppliers to small business customers.  
  • More PPE and other small business resources area available through the Small Business Navigator

Employment Department Updates

Yesterday, Employment Department Director Kay Erickson’s statement announced Project Focus 100, intensifying ongoing efforts to process the backlog of unemployment claims.

This initiative relies on four key strategies:

  1. Continuing surge hiring;
  2. Focusing our most experienced claims processing staff on processing the oldest and most complex claims;
  3. Intensifying outbound, proactive communication to those waiting for claims to be processed; and
  4. Using more technology to improve our services.

From May 29 to June 12, OED will increase our outbound calls to resolve claims for those that have been waiting the longest. To do this, the most experienced employees will take time away from answering the phones.  Job center employees will be temporarily reassigned to take incoming calls to help resolve questions, in all languages, related to things like resetting PIN numbers and re-starting claims. In addition, OED is now sending e-mail and phone confirmations to people whose PUA claims have been received, and they’re working on implementing a customer service chat bot on their site. More details can be found in this statement

Today, The House Committee on Business and Labor received an update from the Employment Department on their COVID-19 response.  You can find more information from today’s hearing, including a video recording of the meeting, meeting materials and agenda, by clicking on the slide below.  

Employment Department Presentation

Changes in Unemployment from March to May, Slide from Employment Department Presentation, link to full committee meeting information

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.  

Why we wear masks

wear a mask to protect your self and others

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