COVID-19 Update & Special Session


Senator Floyd Prozanski
South Lane and North Douglas Counties
District 4

900 Court St. NE, S-413, Salem Oregon 97301
Capitol phone: 503-986-1704
E-mail: sen.floydprozanski@oregonlegislature.govs
e-Update                     June 19, 2020

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Dear friends,

    Governor Brown has called the Legislature into special session this coming Wednesday, June 24, to consider bills relating to police accountability and Oregon's COVID-19 response. We also plan to take up some consensus bills that were unable to get through the February session because of the Republican walkout, and the Senate will be considering executive appointments to vacant positions on boards and commissions put forward by the Governor. Governor Brown has indicated that she will call another special session later in the summer to address the state budget. 
She is counting on further support from Congress that will help Oregon avoid the deepest cuts.

    Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Capitol building has been closed to the public. At the time of writing this update, no final decision has been made as to whether or not the public will have limited access to or within the Capitol during the special session. Either way, the Legislative Assembly will abide by workplace public health guidelines, including social distancing, wearing a mask when in public areas around other people, and frequently washing hands.

    My office will maintain protocol of arranging meetings using virtual platforms or by phone. I will not be hosting "one-on-one" meetings during the special session due to the short and unpredictable schedule, not to mention the need to limit contact with others. Also, my staff will continue to telecommute during the special session.

    Due to an uptick in positive COVID-19 cases, the Governor recently ordered seven counties (Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Hood River, Marion, Polk, and Lincoln) in Phase II of reopening to start requiring wearing of face coverings while in indoor public spaces (mask or shield) beginning Wednesday, June 24. Detailed guidance can be found, here.

    Even though this new order doesn't apply to Lane or Douglas Counties, please continue to remain vigilant: maintaining six feet of social distance, wearing a mask in public, washing hands frequently and isolating at home if you feel sick. If cases begin to increase as they did in those seven counties, the Governor may implement a similar requirement in our region. (See below: Wearing a Mask to Prevent Transmission)

    Below you will find information on:

Latest Oregon COVID-19 Infection Data
        - "Decompression" of State Prisons
        - Scam Alert: Imposter Contact Tracers
        - AARP Live Stream 6/24: Protecting Nursing Home Residents
        - Reference Media: Wearing a Mask to Prevent Transmission

    I hope this information is helpful and informative for you or someone you know. As always, feel free to share your comments, questions or concerns with me by phone, mail or e-mail.

                                                               Sen. Prozanski signature

Latest Oregon COVID-19 Infection Data

    As of June 19, 2020, our state has experienced the following number of positive cases and deaths attributable to COVID-19:

  • 6,344 cases in Oregon
  • 193,689 people tested for COVID-19 in Oregon
  • 188 deaths reported in Oregon

"Decompression" of State Prisons

    On Monday, a group of legislators who serve on the Judiciary Committees in their respective chambers released a multi-faceted "decompression" plan to address the problem of COVID-19 in our state prisons. The Department of Corrections has been working to keep the virus out of our penitentiaries, but we've seen that the virus spreads quickly in those crowded conditions. The Oregon State Penitentiary has Oregon's largest outbreak in any workplace or congregate-care facility. In the system as a whole, infections have been reported for 174 adults in custody and 49 staff members. One adult in custody died from COVID-19.

    Representative Janelle Bynum, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and I (as chair of the Senate Judiciary committee), along with Senators James Manning and Representative Tawna Sanchez, released the plan together. For details, click here.

    While Governor Brown took an important step last month in moving ahead with one of our early recommendations –– considering early release for individuals who are at particular risk of severe consequences from the disease (e.g., serious kidney, heart, and pulmonary problems) –– we believe that there is still more work to do. Our group is calling for gradually moving non-violent offenders who are within a few months of the ends of their sentences into post-prison supervision, thereby further easing the pressures on the system.  Doing so, we will make it easier for DOC to protect staff and adults in custody in the coming months.

Scam Alert: Imposter Contact Tracers

    "Contact tracing" is the process of identifying people who have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Contact tracers work with infected people to obtain the names and phone numbers for everyone they have come in close contact with while infectious. Contact tracers then work with these identified contacts, to let them know about the exposure and what steps to take to keep themselves and the public safe.

    Unfortunately, there are imposters who are pretending to be contact tracers, but are in fact scammers trying to take advantage of the process as an opportunity to steal your personal information. These imposters are sending e-mails and text messages with links to fraudulent websites. Clicking on the link may download software onto a device, giving them access to an array of your personal and financial information.

    People who had contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 will likely first get a letter or text message from their county health authority, telling them they'll get a call from a specific phone number. The tracer who calls will not ask for personal information. Tracers don't ask for money or information like your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer.

    If you've received an e-mail or a text message that you think might be from a scammer posing as a contract tracer, do not click on any links and file a complaint online at or call 1-877-877-9392 and ask that a complaint form be mailed to you. For more information on how to stay safe from these kinds of scams check out the Oregon Department of Justice's "Do Not Click" campaign online here, and for more information on COVID-19 scams, visit

    For more information on contact tracing, and if you have any doubt about the legitimacy of someone who contacts you, visit

AARP Live Stream 6/24: Protecting Nursing Home Residents

    The overwhelming number of COVID-19 deaths in Oregon have occurred in congregate care facilities. This AARP online event will focus on how we, as a community, can keep nursing home residents safe. Panelists will include: Fred Steele, Director of Oregon's Long-Term Care Ombudsman; Ilene Henshaw, Director of AARP's Health & Family Team for State Advocacy & Strategy; and Andrea Meyer, Director of Government Affairs for AARP Oregon. This online event will take place Wednesday, June 24, from 1-2 p.mRegister at

Primary Resource Links

    Here's a list of government resources that you may find useful:

Reference Media: Wearing a Mask to Prevent Transmission

    As I have been highlighting week after week in e-updates on COVID-19, studies show that wearing a face mask in public corresponds to the most effective means to prevent inter-human transmission. I encourage you to take time to read this article from my alma mater, Texas A&M University.

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