2020 1st Special Session Recap & Public Health Updates

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Representative Smith Warner


I am proud of the work the Legislature accomplished in last week’s special session, and I know that there is so much more work to be done. In the coming weeks, work will continue on racial and social justice issues, and I expect we will return to Salem later this summer to address budget adjustments. My commitment to you is that I will do everything in my power to minimize the impacts on the services Oregonians are counting on, now more than ever. I appreciate your advocacy and input on the important issues we are facing, and look forward to working together to continue to move Oregon forward.

Review of Special Session Bills That Passed                                                                          Coronavirus relief measures that were taken up in this special session will protect access to health care, prevent evictions and foreclosures during the pandemic, and provide protection to CARES Act stimulus payments. Among the COVID-19 relief measures that were passed were: 

Led by the legislative People of Color caucus, the Legislature took some first steps in addressing structural racism in law enforcement: 

Oregon State of Emergency Extended Sixty Days                                                        COVID-19 cases are surging throughout Oregon since the state began its phased reopening. Recent modeling suggests the virus is continuing to spread rapidly in all age groups. COVID-19 is still in our communities, and each of us has a role to play in reducing its spread. Governor Kate Brown extended her declaration of a state of emergency regarding COVID-19 for an additional 60 days, until September 4. The state of emergency declaration is the legal basis for the executive orders the Governor has issued to keep Oregonians healthy and safe throughout this crisis. This includes her orders on reopening Oregon while maintaining essential health and safety protections, as well as orders around childcare, schools, and higher education operations. Extending the state of emergency declaration allows those orders to stay in effect. It is crucial that we all continue to stay at home as much as possible, and practice physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and frequent hand washing to keep each other safe and limit the spread of coronavirus. 

Reminder: Statewide Face Coverings In Effect                                                    Oregonians statewide are required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces, as of July 1. The guidance applies to businesses and members of the public visiting indoor public spaces. Modeling from the Oregon Health Authority shows that if we don’t take further action to reduce the spread of the disease, our hospitals could be overwhelmed by new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations within weeks. If we all wear face coverings, practice six feet of physical distancing in public, wash our hands regularly, and stay home when we are sick, then we can avoid the worst-case scenarios that are now playing out in other states.


Oregon Health Authority Update                                                                                              The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reports up-to-date information regarding testing and case statistics that can be found on their website. You can review the daily update and read the weekly report that details the overall picture of the COVID-19 response across government agencies. Here are some recent developments from OHA: 

  • Today’s Weekly Report covers data from June 22-28. In the report, most indicators point to a resurgence in COVID-19 transmission. OHA recorded 1,402 new cases of COVID-19 infection, an 11 percent increase from the previous week (1,263 new cases). In addition, 12 Oregonians were reported to have died, the same number as the preceding week.
  • OHA epidemiologists are using a new method for reporting daily cases. The new method assigns a date to each case when they are first known to the state or local health department as confirmed or presumptive. This is a better representation of the number of cases reported on any given day. 
  • The number of COVID-19 tests reported (28,359) decreased by 11 percent and the percentage of tests positive increased to 4.2 percent from 3.7 percent in the preceding week. Meanwhile, large outbreaks have contributed a diminishing proportion of recent cases, and sporadic cases have increased consistent with diffuse community spread.
  • 75 percent of recent cases have been diagnosed in people younger than 50 years old. Since hospitalization is less common among younger people with COVID-19 infection, statewide hospital capacity remains sufficient for now.

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: Rep.BarbaraSmithWarner@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1445
address: 900 Court St NE, H-295, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/smithwarner