COVID-19 Updates 7/17/2020 *Corrected Link*

Please accept our apologies for re-sending. The link to the PBS mask video was inadvertently not included. 

Rep. Sollman

Friends and Neighbors,

Joint Emergency Board Updates

Earlier this week, the Legislature’s Emergency Board approved a relief package of more than $200 million that will support vulnerable Oregonians, including people waiting for unemployment benefits, at-risk workers and small businesses, and Black Oregonians who have been disproportionately harmed by this pandemic and the financial fallout.

Oregonians are hurting, and it is essential that we get the federal resources out to people in need all across the state as soon as possible. Since the COVID-19 crisis has begun, the Oregon Legislature has also been targeted for essential needs like rental and housing assistance, utility assistance, child care assistance, small business support and more to help Oregonians weather this crisis and ensure we build a stronger, better Oregon for the future.

Among the additional investments made by the Emergency Board are:

  • $62 million to the Oregon Cares Fund for Black Relief and Resiliency to provide
    economic relief to Black individuals and businesses. National and state data show that the Black community is one of the communities experiencing a disproportionate share of negative economic and health effects due to COVID-19. 
  • $50 million to support music, culture, and community venues and organizations that have been closed, cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic. 
  • $35 million to fund $500 Emergency Relief Checks to Oregonians who are still waiting
    for unemployment benefits.
  • $30 million to the COVID-19 Leave Fund for workers who contract or have been
    exposed to the virus but do not qualify for traditional sick leave.
  • $25.6 million in emergency assistance for small businesses facing financial shortfalls due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This supports businesses with no more than 25 employees that have not received support under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or other provisions of the federal CARES Act.
  • Additionally, the Emergency Board allocated $3.58 million in general funds for
    emergency water infrastructure to the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs as the tribe faces an ongoing water crisis.

Follow this link to watch the full Emergency Board hearing from Tuesday.

Joint Interim Committee On Ways and Means Subcommittee On Public Safety 

As the Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Public Safety, I have been busy working with my Senate Co-Chair, Senator James Manning, on a budget rebalance for Public Safety. I have talked with each of the House committee members about their concerns, questions and ideas. The Legislative Fiscal Office has been extremely helpful to guide and explain the details of the line items. Yesterday, the budget rebalance proposal was released prior to an anticipated special session. The full text of the co-chairs’ budget rebalance framework is available here. The Joint Ways and Means Subcommittees will meet next week to hear public testimony on the rebalance proposal at the following dates and times:

  • Wednesday, July 22: Natural Resources: 9 am-12 pm; General Government: 1-4 pm
  • Thursday, July 23: Education: 9 am-12 pm; Human Services: 1-4 pm
  • Friday, July 24: Public Safety: 9 am-12 pm; Transportation and Economic Development: 1-4 pm

Additional details on the plan’s budget reductions and public hearing mechanics will be made public early next week. Once the agenda for the Subcommittee on Public Safety is posted, public testimony can be submitted here: Follow along with me and the Subcommittee on Public Safety, Friday, July 24th at 9:00am, here.

Oregon masks

Why Masks Work

Watch this recent episode of "It's Okay to Be Smart: How Well Do Masks Work?" from PBS.

"Wearing a mask is a cheap and easy way to help stop the spread of airborne infections like COVID-19. It’s also a sign that you want to help protect other people and have them protect you… that we’re all in this together. Here’s some awesome slow-motion schlieren imaging experiments to demonstrate why masks work! Share with someone who needs to see this."


Underlying Conditions?

When COVID-19 deaths get reported, we regularly read that individuals who have died had “underlying conditions.” I think this might give a false sense of security. We might think that the only people who will get really sick and die from this virus will be people who are already really sick.

According to a recent email exchange with the Oregon Health Authority, about 48% of all reported cases in Oregon were people with underlying conditions, with 40% having no underlying conditions and 12% unknown. The percentage of people who get infected and who have underlying medical conditions seems to be dropping as more of the cases occur in younger and healthier people.

Nearly everyone who has died from COVID-19 in Oregon is reported to have had an underlying health condition. Deaths have been highly concentrated among older people (almost 50% over 80 years of age and more than 90% over 60 years of age), which is also the population that tends to have more underlying medical conditions.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the best source of data on underlying medical conditions. You can find the CDC information here.

It might surprise you to know that some of these conditions are fairly common:

  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
  • Smoking
  • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher)
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Neurologic conditions, such as dementia

And, of course, conditions that are less common put people at risk:

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant, from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Liver disease
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
  • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
  • Children who are medically complex, who have neurologic, genetic, metabolic conditions, or who have congenital heart disease.

The CDC has the best information about exactly how many people who are hospitalized with COVID-19 had which medical conditions. You can find that information here.

So, please be careful, take precautions, and don’t think you’re invincible. An “underlying condition” can be something fairly common. It’s not just really sick people who get hospitalized or die when they get coronavirus.

Tracing The Coronavirus Through Sewer Pipes In Oregon

Thank you to the Westside Economic Alliance for hosting Dr. Ken Williamson of Clean Water Services at their Virtual Forum yesterday morning to discuss how he and other are partnering in a "Sewershed Surveillance" program to trace the spread of coronavirus through waste water. 

"The samples collected in Washington County will be sent to Oregon State University, where a lab will look for genetic evidence of coronavirus in the water. The researchers are expecting to have early results that can be passed on to public health officials in July. 

Stand-alone projects testing wastewater for the coronavirus are starting to catch on nationwide, with several states — including Washington and California — launching their own projects." 

Read the full article from OPB here that explains the process and how the information can be used to inform the future of the coronavirus in our communities. 

Community Outreach

On Saturday, July 18th – Don’t Forget to Celebrate Hillsboro!

For the last 15 years, folks from all corners of Hillsboro and beyond have gathered for the biggest community street festival of the summer: Celebrate Hillsboro. This year, Celebrate Hillsboro may look a little different, but the essence remains the same: we come together to celebrate one another — our cultures, our families, and all the things that make Hillsboro a great place to live. We value and honor the diversity of our city. We celebrate community strength this year from our homes, to provide a visual display of togetherness in the time of physical distancing. On July 18, we invite all community members to celebrate wherever you are during a new, different festival experience. Let’s demonstrate appreciation for our community by:

  • Decorating windows, balconies, or yards for all to see
  • Taking part in chalk art and other joyful visual displays
  • Having classic summer barbecues at home, synchronously
  • Sharing what makes our individual experiences as community members unique via social media through the #IAmHillsboro campaign.

Visit here for more information. 

Red Cross is Looking for Local Volunteers as Wildfire Season Approaches

Red Cross  

Experts say the Pacific Northwest could be in for a busy wildfire season this summer and the American Red Cross needs volunteers to help in our local communities.

The coronavirus pandemic will make it challenging to deploy trained disaster volunteers from other parts of the country should a large emergency occur in Oregon or Southwest Washington. In light of this, the Red Cross is asking local volunteers to be ready to help their community.

SHELTER HELP NEEDED There is a special need for volunteers to support sheltering efforts. Because of COVID-19, the Red Cross is placing those needing a safe place to stay in emergency hotel lodging when possible. If hotel stays aren’t possible, then the Red Cross will open traditional shelters. To help keep people safe, we have put in place additional precautions and developed special training for our workforce.

Volunteers will staff positions at shelter reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collection and support other vital tasks to help those we serve. We have both associate and supervisory level opportunities available.

HEALTH SERVICES SUPPORT NEEDED We are looking for health professionals including, RN, LPN, LVN, APRN, NP, EMT, paramedic, MD/DO or PA’s with an active, current and unencumbered license. Volunteers are needed in shelters to help assess people’s health. Daily observation and health screening for COVID-19-like illness among shelter residents may also be required. RNs supervise all clinical tasks.

Roles are also available for Certified Nursing Assistants, Certified Home Health Aides, student nurses and medical students. Volunteers who can provide care as delegated by a licensed nurse in shelters are greatly needed.

Volunteers interested in helping their community should a disaster occur can sign up at or contact our region offices at

Education Updates

Youth in Oregon Youth Authority facilities across the state recently wrote about people who inspire them, in response to OYA’s "Leave Your Mark" creative writing contest.

OYA’s Youth Reformation System (YRS) team created the contest. They asked youth to describe people who push them to be their best selves, who inspire them to grow and develop new skills, and who truly believe in them.

Sixteen youth entered the contest. Finalists were judged by leaders from OYA Development Services and Facility Services. The winners were:

First Place – Alfonso K., Camp Riverbend Second Place – Julie W., Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility Third Place – Josefina R., Oak Creek YCF

Josefina wrote: There is a famous quote by Elie Wiesel that reads: “Even in darkness it is possible to create light and encourage compassion. That it is possible to feel free inside a prison. That even in exile, friendship exists and can become an anchor. That one instant before dying, man is still immortal.”

This quote speaks to me as I was once a person who was imprisoned inside of my own mind long before I became physically incarcerated. Through my mental darkness, I was able to find the light with the help of two people that I would come to know and trust.

Congratulations to the winners! You can read their essays HERE.

I am so continually inspired by these students. Learning so much about themselves, healing from past trauma, growing into adulthood, and investing in their future. This is rehabilitation. ❤

Additional Resources

 House District 30 Links

Federal Delegation Links

Education Links

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance

Summer nights in Hillsboro you could find me with friends at the stadium rooting for our home team. The Hops baseball sensation has fast grown into a Hillsboro gotta-have for summertime fun. Though COVID-19 once again has messed with our jubilation and fun traditions, it can’t take away our ❤ for our Hillsboro Hops! #AllHoppedUp #HopsNation


Be good to yourself and each other. ❤

Onward & Upward,


Capitol Phone: 503-986-1430
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-487, Salem, Oregon 97301