Reopening Plans, Face Covering Requirements and More

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Representative Smith Warner


A special session is fast approaching and the legislature is hard at work to address the most critical issues impacting our communities. This is a crucial step in moving our community forward. I hope you will join me, Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer and Sen. Michael Dembrow on Tuesday, June 23 at 5 PM for a town hall to discuss the upcoming special session. If you are interested in attending, please register at the link below:

Multnomah County Enters Phase One Today                                                                  Multnomah County will move to Phase 1 starting Friday, June 19. While Multnomah County has seen an increase in new cases recently, the county has not experienced an uptrend in new hospital admissions, and overall hospitalizations remain well within capacity. For future reopening decisions Multnomah County will now be grouped with Washington and Clackamas County. As a result of these decisions, the entire tri-county region will remain in Phase 1 for at least 21 days after June 19 before the three counties together will become eligible for Phase 2. You can review the most recent Multnomah County status report here.

Phase 1

Face Covering Requirement                                                                                          Governor Kate Brown issued additional measures to mitigate the spread of the virus. If you live in Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Hood River, Marion, Polk, and Lincoln County you will be required to wear face coverings while in indoor public spaces, such as grocery stores and other businesses.This mandate will be effective beginning Wednesday, June 24

Face Coverings

Oregon Health Authority Update                                                                                            Cases of COVID-19 are increasing across Oregon. As a response, Governor Kate Brown issued a statewide pause on the reopening process on June 11 to give public health experts time to assess what factors are driving the spread of the virus and determine if we need to adjust our approach to reopening. One week after the pause in Oregon’s reopening, the data continues to show the following: 

  • As testing increases, the percent of positive tests is also increasing, indicating that we are seeing more COVID-19 in the state (now 3.2 percent).
  • OHA has not recorded significant increases in emergency department visits for COVID- 19-like infections.
  • Testing in counties affected by the reopening pause indicate that they are not under testing (under testing would be indicated by a percent positive of 10 or more).

Counties currently have enough regional hospital bed capacity to treat COVID-19 patients.To suppress the wider spread of COVID-19 in Oregon, OHA urges state residents to strictly follow public health guidance: wear face coverings in public when unable to maintain six feet of distance, wash hands frequently, avoid groups (especially indoors), stay home if you’re sick, work from home if possible, and answer the call if you hear from a contact tracer. Current status of reopening and all guidelines are available at

COVID-19 Cases

Employment Department Update and Commonly Asked Questions                              The Oregon Employment Department Unemployment Claims Progress dashboard has been updated as of today’s numbers. Legislative offices have been assigned an employment department liaison to help gather and categorize data to help claims specialists process claims. Our office submits constituent casework information to the department at 3 pm every Wednesday

When will I hear from the Employment Department after I submit my information to my legislator?                                                                                                                  Depending on the type of claim you have, resolutions times vary but OED is actively working on the claims being sent to them from my office. If you are waiting for a call from OED, please remember that some people’s telephone service providers or phones do not show these calls as coming from the Oregon Employment Department. In some cases, it even, incorrectly, shows the calls are coming from another state or even country, or it may mark the calls as spam, if a spam filter is activated on your phone. If you have not heard from OED within three weeks of submitting your information to me, please let me know. 

I worked out of state or partially out of state, or split my work between Oregon and a bordering state. Which state do I file with?                                                                        If all of your wages in 2019 were generated in another state, you likely need to file in that state. If you worked in Oregon in 2019, but also in another state, you may have a combined wage claim. Out of state claims vary a great deal. If you worked out of state any time in the last 18 months, my office will flag your case as a potential out of state claim when we submit your information to the Employment Department and these claims may take a little longer to process. 

Can I get unemployment if I was required to take a week off with no pay?                    Yes, in general, people are potentially eligible for UI benefits for a one week furlough. If it is the first week on their claim, they will only receive credit for their waiting week at this time. 

But I thought Oregon was eliminating the waiting week. Will they pay my claim retroactively if the waiting week is eliminated later?                                                        Yes, any weeks claimed which serve as a waiting week on a claim OED anticipates paying retroactively after the programming is in place to eliminate the waiting week (unless the person has already received the maximum amount of benefits on their claim). 

Do I qualify for the $600 federal benefit if I have 2, non-consecutive 1 week furloughs? Yes, if you file weekly claims for both weeks and meet the weekly eligibility requirements, you should be eligible to receive one $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) for the second week only (assuming the first week serves as a waiting week). 

How can I be prepared for an appeal hearing?                                                              When a hearing request is submitted, you are encouraged to submit any available information that may show the OED decision was not correct. The information is reviewed, and needed corrections can be made without the person having to wait for the appeal hearing to take place. The Office of Administrative Hearings has independent administrative law judges who conduct these hearings, and it has comprehensive resources specific to unemployment appeals hearings at 

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Informational Webinar                                              OED is hosting a series of webinars about Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). They will be posting a notice on twitter for their next PUA webinar, which will be held today, June 19, at 1 p.m. Attendees need to register in advance at, and will receive a confirmation email with more details after they do register. Please note there are only 500 spots for this webinar.

Legislators Release Plan to Address COVID-19 in Prisons                                              The chairs and members of the Judiciary Committees in both chambers recently released a framework for a proposal to address the impact of COVID-19 in prisons. The plan calls for the immediate release of adults in custody (AICs) who are considered to be at particular risk of severe consequences from COVID-19.The plan includes additional requirements that the Department of Corrections (DOC) must meet in order to guarantee the safety of AICs, Corrections staff and the community at large. The proposed plan follows actions taken by the federal government and a number of Oregon counties to reduce their incarcerated populations in order to prevent the worst consequences of COVID-19 outbreaks. You can access the full press release here.

Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles Citation Moratorium                                            The DMV has worked in conjunction with law enforcement to establish a grace period, whereby law enforcement would not issue citations to individuals merely for having expired driver licenses, driver permits, identification cards, vehicle registration, trip permits, and disabled parking permits. This citation moratorium is in place through October 1, 2020. You can access a generic letter online describing this citation moratorium; this is available for people to download and carry as “proof” that expired credentials should otherwise be treated as valid for purposes of driving a vehicle in Oregon. 

Please note: this does not extend to otherwise unlawful activities (for example, if an individual is driving with an expired license or expired tags, they should not be pulled over or cited for that; if an individual is speeding and has an expired credential, they may be pulled over and cited for speeding + expired license).

Local Juneteenth Celebrations                                                                                            Today is Juneteenth, a holiday to commemorate the arrival of Union soldiers on June 19, 1865 in Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that slavery was abolished, freeing those enslaved. Here are a few events that are happening to celebrate Juneteenth. 

Black Like Me Juneteeth Livestream Event - Friday, June 19, 2020, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Juneteenth Oregon 2020 Celebration Livestream Event - Saturday, June 20, 2020, 1 pm - 5 pm

Please reach out to my office if you have any additional questions, or if there’s anything you think I could help with. 



Representative Barbara Smith Warner
House District 45

email: I phone: 503-986-1445
address: 900 Court St NE, H-295, Salem, OR 97301