June 5th: COVID-19 and other important updates

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Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

I have been so heartened to see the demonstrations in Hillsboro and Forest Grove this week.  Issues like systemic racism and police violence can seem very far away, but they are not, they are woven into our own communities.  The “In Defense of Black Lives” demonstrations in Washington County remind us to look to our own lives and localities to break down systemic racism.  No city, county, or state is done with this work, and we should be evaluating all of our systems for how we can improve their outcomes for Black folks, Indiginous peoples and other Communities of Color in the short, medium and long term.  Today, at the state level, we made progress in this work by ensuring that Emergency Board funds for addressing COVID-19 will get to our Black and Brown neighbors and businesses. Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter, I hope you will find it filled with helpful information about COVID-19 responses and other important updates and resources.

In Defense of Black Lives-Forest Grove

New Developments

  • Extensions to the Paycheck Protection Program have passed the US Senate! The legislation would extend the loan forgiveness period from eight to 16 weeks and amend the rehire date from June 30 to 16 weeks after the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan is awarded. You can read a summary of this legislation here.  This legislation applies to both businesses and nonprofits!
  • All SBA disaster loans, including homes and businesses, will receive a deferment through December 31, 2020.
    • This is being automatically applied and requires no further action on your part.
    • Interest still accrues during a deferment.
    • If you have a Pre-Authorized Debit (PAD) in place you must cancel the PAD to prevent it from drafting during the deferment period and set it back up after the deferment period.
  • Health Insurance: The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services extended its emergency order for health insurance companies through July 3, 2020.  The order requires health insurance companies to do the following for their customers during the COVID-19 outbreak:
    • Provide at least a 60-day grace period to pay any past-due premiums
    • Pay claims for any covered services during the first 30 days of the grace period
    • Extend all deadlines for reporting claims and other communications, and provide members with communication options that meet physical distancing standards
  • 40 (of 60 total) DMV offices across the state will reopen beginning on today, June 5, by appointment only. You can schedule an appointment at OregonDMV.com. It’s the first headline you see – “Need an appointment for an in-person visit? Let’s get started” (you can’t miss it). This appointment request form will guide you through a decision tree to determine whether your transaction can be completed online, and direct you to online resources where appropriate, or to schedule an appointment.  If you do need to come into an office, you will receive a call back from a DMV employee to walk you through all of the materials you will need for your appointment.  
  • Until further notice, DMV offices will only process certain priority transactions:  
    • Commercial Driver License issuance, renewal, and replacement
    • Standard/Class C Driver License issuance, renewal, and replacement (beginning July 6 replacements will be available online and will no longer be done in-person)
    • ID card issuance, renewal, and replacement (beginning July 6 replacements will be available online and will no longer be done in-person)
    • Driver license reinstatement
  • Homelessness in Western Washington County: I wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the great work that is being done in Western Washington County to assist people experiencing houselessness and food insecurity.  Open Door, the Winter Shelter of Forest Grove and Cornelius, Centro Cultural, Adelante Mujeres, Virginia Garcia Health Center, and the cities of Forest Grove and Cornelius have been working in Cooperation since the beginning of this crisis, to not only extend and expand on the services provided by the Winter Shelter.  These dedicated advocates have provided thousands of meals as well as wrap around services to many of the most vulnerable members of our community.  It is my great hope that we will continue these services and expand on them as we recover from this pandemic and beyond.  Pamplin recently published this article about the amazing work being done.  To volunteer or contribute to these efforts, contact Brian Schimmel at brianhschimmel@gmail.com.

Emergency Board

Today, my colleagues and I on the Emergency Board met to allocate further funds to address COVID-19 in Oregon.  Today we allocated approximately $200million in federal CARES Act dollars to assist individuals, businesses and tribal and local governments.  You can read more about the funds allocated here, and watch or listen to the full committee hearing by clicking on the image below.  

A few highlights from today’s meeting:

  • $75 million for Oregon Housing and Community Services Department (OHCSD) to provide housing stabilization, rental assistance and mortgage assistance.  
  • $10 million to the Oregon Community Foundation to further support the Oregon Worker Relief Fund, which is overseeing a culturally-specific community-based grant program making payments to workers who are ineligible for wage replacement payments from traditional unemployment insurance programs. 
  • $4 million to the Department of Justice for survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
  • $15 million to OHCSD for energy assistance programs, serving individuals and families with income lost due to COVID-19. 
  • $25.6 million to enhance behavioral health services for Oregonians impacted by COVID-19, with a focus on communities of color, Oregon’s federally recognized tribes, and vulnerable populations.
  • $1 million to the Department of Human Services to support the capacity of 211 info services.
  • $3.5 million to the Public Utility Commission to temporarily expand access to affordable telephone and broadband service for low-income households.
  • $3 million to the Oregon Business Development Department (OBDD) to provide technical assistance to minority- and woman-owned businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • $50 million in grants for stabilizing rural Type A and Type B Hospital operations
  • $10 million to OBDD to provide personal protective equipment for small businesses
  • $30 million to the Early Learning Division for assistance in meeting the increased costs of child care providers.
  • $20 million to OBDD for the Rural Broadband Capacity Program.
  • $30 million for Oregon agricultural worker protections
Emergency Board, June 5th

Reopening Update

Phase 2 additional criteria

Starting today, June 5th, some counties are approved to enter Phase 2 of reopening, which allows some more relaxation of restrictions for individuals and businesses. 

You can read more about Phase 2 guidance on this page, just scroll down to “guidance and signage.”

The counties approved to enter Phase 2 are mapped and listed below.  Washington County is still in Phase 1, and will remain there until June 21st at the earliest.  To enter Phase 2 we will need to have a continued decrease in the number of new cases daily, as well as be contacting 95% of new cases within 24hours, and tracing 70% of new cases to a known source.  The image below links to a presentation on the criteria and guidelines around Phase 2.  And you can visit this site, to learn more about Washington County’s reopening progress and plans.  

County Reopening map
Phases 0, 1 and 2



In addition to criteria and guidance for entering Phase 2, Governor Brown has also announced new guidelines that apply across Oregon.  


  • Zoos, museums and outdoor gardens can reopen under these guidelines
  • Outdoor recreation facilities can reopen under these criteria
  • Guidance for other businesses and facilities in Phase 0, 1, and 2 can be found here, by scrolling down to guidance and signage.  

Case and Testing Data

  • National Numbers: 
    • Confirmed Cases: 1,862,656 (up 20,555 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 108,064 (up 1,035 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 4,570 total cases (confirmed and presumptive) of COVID-19.  Today we have 97 new confirmed and presumptive cases.  Tragically we have had a total of 161 Oregonians die from COVID-19.  Washington County still has one of the highest case counts at 775 confirmed cases, however we are seeing a downward trend in new cases.  You can review on-going updates from OHA by clicking on the table below. 


Daily Update June 5

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

  • Today, OHA published their weekly testing report.  You can view the ongoing table of testing numbers in the table below.  You can click on the table to access the full report. 
Weekly Testing Summary June 5th
  • 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. 
Hospitalization Graph

Change Needed Now

End Institutional Racism and Violence against Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC)

Going forward, I am going to share at least one anti-racist action item and one educational resource in each of my newsletters.  I ask that you consider how you can use these tools in your life, to become an ant-racist actor and advocate.  It is not enough to be non-racist, or even to be an ally of BIPOC communities, we need to take action to change ourselves and the systems that we shape and which shape us in turn.  I pledge to update you all on the work I am doing in the legislature and personally, to increase my anti-racist activism.  This week, I have begun to get more involved online, by amplifying the BIPOC voices who have been doing this work longer than I, and by joining organizations like Color of Change.  In the legislature, I am working with my colleagues to prioritize BIPOC communities in our COVID response and recovery efforts.  As we consider the upcoming budget shortfalls, I am working with my colleagues to make sure budget cuts do not have outsized impacts on communities of color.  

POC Legislative Caucus Update:

  • Press Release: Oregon Legislative POC Caucus Calls for Action This Year on Police Accountability 
  • Here is an excerpt from that press release: “In this historic moment, our words are not enough,” the House POC caucus members said jointly. “Only true concerted action can act as a salve for the wounds caused by centuries of targeted state violence on Black and Brown bodies. By prioritizing these criminal justice reform bills, we are upholding our commitment to extend protection under the law to all Oregonians. We are telling structural racism and police brutality that time is up, that justice is nigh, that not only will you be held accountable for your actions, but you will uphold the values in your oath of office: to faithfully, honestly, and ethically protect and serve.”
  • Oregon POC Caucus proposes three new police accountability measures (OPB) 

Anti-Racist Education:

Here is a link to some great resources; and for an Oregon-specific perspective, watch the video below.  

Why aren't there more Black people in Oregon

Anti-Racist Action Items:

This week I joined Color of Change, a Black-led racial justice organization fighting campaigns for political, corporate and media accountability and change in our country. They'll send you actions you can take to support Black people and allies, invite you to events in your city, and it's free to join!

Another tool I have been using to find action items is this article: 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice.  Here are a couple examples of action items that have stood out to me:

  • “If you or a friend is an educator, buy said friend books that feature POC (people of color) as protagonists and heroes, no matter the racial make-up of the class. A few good lists are here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. And/or purchase educational toys that feature POC, such as finger puppets, Black History Flashcards, etc for their classroom. Use these items year-round, not just in February. The racial make-up of students doesn’t matter — kids of every race need to know American history and be exposed to people from different races, religions, and countries. If the friend is interested, buy them for your pal’s classroom. Don’t be shy to ask Facebook friends that you haven’t actually talked to in ten years.
  • Work with your HR department at work to create better hiring practices, and to recruit students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  Also work with your managers and HR departments to be sure that you are creating a supportive workplace for people of color.  Efforts to diversify are counter-productive if your workplace is not a safe space.  

Equity Centered Response to COVID-19

Given the outsized effects of COVID-19 on our Black communities, Indeginous communities and on People of Color across Oregon, I wanted to draw your attention to this report by Oregon Health Authority.  The state of Oregon is working to center equity in our response to COVID-19, and this report (click on the image below to read more) is an important part of that.   

OHA Equity Centered Response to COVID-19

End Gun Violence

Today is National Gun Violence Awareness Day.  This is yet another issue that has a disproportionate effect on Black communities, it is an issue that goes hand in hand with demilitarizing our police and ending deaths by police.  Black Americans are 10 times more likely to be killed by a gun then their white neighbors.  53 women are killed every month by a domestic partner with a gun.  Guns are the leading cause of death for children and teens in the US.  Access to a gun makes you 3 times more likely to die by suicide.  None of these statistics need to continue, we can end gun deaths in Oregon and around the country.  Take action by visiting the sites below.  

National Gun Violence Prevention Day 2020

Additional Resources

Employers and Employees

The following list of resources is from Oregon’s Secretary of State’s Office. The fastest way to get in touch with the SOS team is by emailing business.sos@oregon.gov, using the “Need Help?” button found on most state agency websites or visiting www.oregon.gov/smallbusiness.

Education Links

Local Government

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance



Oregon Health Authority


Claire and Rep McLain, social distancing

My staff, Claire, and I social distance-working at my dining table last week. It feels like a lifetime ago because of all that has happened since. Remember to stay safe, whether you are marching, working or at home, and take care of your loved ones.

Yours truly,

Representative Susan McLain

Representative Susan McLain
House District 29

email: Rep.SusanMcLain@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-376, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/mclain