July 24th Update: New Mask Guidance! Budget Hearings, Employment Updates, and more!

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Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

As discussed in my last newsletter, the evidence is increasingly showing that wearing masks/facial coverings is one of our best tools for slowing the spread of COVID-19.  You all have been doing a great job of adhering to the current mask requirement, and we hope this will lead to us getting more control over this virus.  However, we need to ask you and your families to do even more.  Starting today, masks will be required for all Oregonians 5 years and older, including in schools, and exemptions for indoor mask wearing have been removed.  Furthermore, indoor venue capacity cannot exceed 100, and all bars and restaurants must close at 10pm.  It is difficult and frustrating to move backwards in some of these areas, but we all must do our part to keep Oregon from spiraling out of control like some other states. 

New Mask REquirement July 24

Face Coverings

  • Face coverings will be required for all Oregonians ages five and up in indoor public spaces and outdoors when six feet of distance cannot be maintained.
  • Face coverings will be required even in cases of physical exertion indoors, and outdoors when six feet of distance cannot be maintained.


  • The maximum indoor capacity limit is capped at 100 for all venues in Phase II counties and for restaurants and bars in Phase I or II counties.
  • Restaurants and bars will be required to stop serving customers at 10:00 P.M statewide.

A recording of the Governor’s press conference from Wednesday, July 22, is available here.

A full transcript of the Governor’s remarks from Wednesday, July 22, is available here.

Updated guidance will be posted to coronavirus.oregon.gov.

Forest Grove

Staying close to home gives me lots of chances to appreciate the beauty of Forest Grove and Washington County

Ways and Means Subcommittee Hearings

This week our budget subcommittees met to hear public feedback on the proposed budget reductions to our state agencies and programs.  Thank you to everyone who called in, submitted written testimony, or wrote to my office.  In the Education Subcommittee we had 67 people call in, and hundreds of people submit written testimony.  Your input is integral to this process.  None of the decisions discussed by the subcommittees are final, and we will consider your feedback as we get ready to make final decisions in the next Special Session.  If you have not yet submitted any testimony, the record will be open until 5pm on Monday 7/27.  You can email the committees to submit testimony using the links below.  

Subcommittee Hearings July 22-24

Love to see my colleagues, even if it’s digitally! Representative Sollman did a fabulous job in her first meeting as Co-Chair of the Subcommittee on Public Safety!

New Developments

  • Updated Education Guidelines-Ready Schools, Safe Learners: The Oregon Department of Education has updated their reopening guidance for local districts, including the new requirement that children 5 and older wear masks.  You can find the updates here. The next update to the guidance is scheduled for August 11th.  
  • Insurance Updates: The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services’ Division of Financial Regulation extended its emergency orders for property and casualty, long-term care, and life and disability insurance. The orders mean that the most common insurance policies, such as auto, home, term and whole life, and long-term care, provide one-time minimum grace periods for people to pay premiums and protect people by mandating how long claims must be paid. See this chart for details. The emergency order extensions can be found on the division's COVID-19 regulated businesses page. Consumers can visit the division's COVID-19 consumer page for more information about the emergency orders and additional insurance and financial services topics.  
  • Oregon OSHA is the main state agency regulating and enforcing safety guidelines like the statewide mask mandate, and have shared some important facts.  Face coverings are required in outdoor public spaces when physical distancing is not possible and in indoor public spaces. People with a disability or medical condition may request accommodation from a business if they cannot wear a mask, face shield or face covering. The business should provide such accommodation without putting other individuals at risk – typically, that will involve accommodations other than entry into the space without the required face covering or face shield. For more guidance and information on COVID-19, go to osha.oregon.gov/covid19 and check out the Q&A on Oregon OSHA’s Facebook page
  • Children’s Mental Health: Children are affected by the stress of COVID-19, but they don’t always show it in the same way.  Check out the graphic below to see some signs of distress in young kids, and some tools for supporting them. 
Children's mental health
  • There is a free COVID-19 testing event happening at Village Church in Beaverton this Saturday afternoon (12pm – 6pm). Testing is targeted to immigrant, refugee and BIPOC community members. No appointments, insurance, or symptoms needed. This event is a collaboration between the OSU TRACE project, OHSU and IRCO (Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization). Information will be available in many languages. 
Free Testing Event

Case Data

  • National Numbers: 
    • Confirmed Cases: 4,024,492 (up 72,219 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 143,868 (up 1,113 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 16,104 total cases (confirmed and presumptive) of COVID-19.  Today we have 396 new confirmed and presumptive cases.  282 Oregonians have died from COVID-19, including 9 new deaths as of today.  Washington County still has one of the highest case counts at 2406 cases, including 54 new cases today.  You can review on-going updates from OHA by clicking on the table below. 
  • 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. 
Daily Update July 24th

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


The Federal law that added the extra $600 per week (FPUC) unemployment payment, is set to end tomorrow, July 25.  After tomorrow, you will still get your regular unemployment benefits or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits each week you are eligible, but not the extra $600.

Retroactive payments: If you haven’t yet been paid for any weeks between March 29 and July 25, you will still get the extra $600 per week for those weeks once your claim is processed, for all weeks you were eligible.

This will mean more strain on already struggling families. You may qualify for help paying for rent, utility bills, food, and more. Or for a free or low-cost health plan. Go to 211info.org or call 2-1-1 to learn more. Free interpretation provided.

$600 benefit ends

Other Updates: 

Recent reports from the Employment Department to the legislature include: 

“Federal Guidance Update:

This week the [US Department of Labor] released more guidance on PUA, including gross vs. net income for weekly PUA claims. We are reviewing how it works with state law, but appears it will permit Oregon to use net earnings. If this is the case, we will get you information for how earnings should be reported and how to request retroactive adjustments for previous weeks already filed. Next week, we will have an update on how this will work.”

This week Acting Director David Gerstenfeld held another media briefing this week: 

Video recording of the briefing


Audio recording of the briefing


OED’s new online application for PUA

“The Oregon Employment Department launched a new online form for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims and weekly certifications. The new online PUA claim form offers big improvements:

  • Speeding up weekly benefit processing. Reducing application errors and automating the application upload process will help us get claims processed faster and PUA benefits out to more Oregonians faster. 
  • Preventing uploading blank PDFs. Many of the PDF forms came to us blank. The chance that someone would accidentally upload a blank PDF form is also gone when using the online form.
  • Preventing incomplete claims. Important information, like the COVID-19 reason that makes an applicant eligible for PUA, is required, but has often been missing or left blank on the PDF forms. The online PUA application or weekly certification will give a warning notifying customers that the information is required. This change will help us process claims faster and reduce delays in Oregonians receiving benefits due to missing information. 

People who have filed weekly claims via PDF and who have not yet received payment are encouraged to re-file their weekly certifications through this new online claim form. People can continue submitting their initial application and weekly certifications by PDF upload, mail, fax or phone if they wish. These will take longer to process than the online claim form.”

Step-by-step instructions for filling out PUA applications are available here


OED’s new website for PUA/Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants

“OED has a new website up and running. Here’s the info they sent us about that:

Last week we launched a new informational website, unemployment.oregon.gov. The site includes a new Contact Us form. Your constituents with the oldest claims can submit their information into this form. This provides them with a direct line to the most experienced claims processing staff at the agency, who can review and resolve their claims.

Currently we are taking inquiries from people who have not received benefits from May 23 or earlier for regular unemployment, May 30 for PUA, and June 20 regarding benefit extensions. The Contact Us form also includes an option to upload worker authorization documents or I-94 documents.”

KGW has a good summary of the new website. The new website seems to be more about sharing updated information and frequently asked questions rather than a fix to the backlog. An exception might be the contact form mentioned above. In the meantime, I will continue to reach out to OED on your behalf.

You can also get more information and tutorials at OED’s YouTube page, and Facebook Page. They update it often, so check back there regularly if you have questions about what the department is doing.

Public Safety Updates

I am sure you are all aware of the continuing conflicts between protesters in Portland, and both local and federal law enforcement.  I am deeply disturbed by the violence inflicted on protesters, bi-standers, press and legal observers by both local and federal law enforcement.  It is in no-way warranted by the overwhelmingly peaceful gatherings, and it is neither proportional to nor targeted at the very few acts of violence against law enforcement or damage to property.  The widespread use of tear gas is unacceptable on its own, but particularly troubling in the current health context, and the use of these and other munitions serve only to escalate tensions.  These protests are about protecting the lives of Black and Brown Oregonians who face much higher rates of injury and death by police, and the tactics being used against them make it all to clear why they are necessary to begin with. 

Black Lives Matter Protests

These protests are about Black Lives Matter and the changes we need to make in our public safety system, let's keep our focus on those changes and keep Black voices at the center of the work

Furthermore, the unlawful civil rights violations that federal officers have been engaging in, and their blatant military style approach is completely unacceptable and is not inline with our constitution or our values.  Kidnapping Oregonians in unmarked cars without arrest, or even identifying yourself as an officer is not the action of a constitutional democracy.  In response to these flagrant constitutional violations, this week, many of my democratic colleagues and I sent a letter to Attorney General Barr and Acting Homeland Security Director Chad Wolf, demanding that federal troops be removed from Portland. The text of the letter is below, and a KGW report on the letter can be found here

Letter to Federal Law Enforcement


The City of Hillsboro continues to gather feedback about policing and public safety in our community, with a centering of voices of communities of color. They have provided a few options to make yourself heard: 

Special City Council Meeting:

On Saturday, August 1, at 10 am, the City Council will host a special meeting on Zoom focused on receiving public comments on policing and public safety in our community.

To speak to the Council, you can email your name, Zoom name and/or telephone number to Council@Hillsboro-Oregon.gov. Send an email to City Council.

You can also sign up during the beginning of these online Council meetings by texting the number on the screen. You will have up to three minutes per person to address the full Council. Groups can request to combine time into one speaker.


Record yourself on your phone, then send it to the Council. Upload your audio or video file. First, fill in your name and email address. Then, select "City Recorder." Finally, choose your file and click "Upload Files" to complete the process.

Public Comment:

Share your thoughts during the online Council meetings on Tuesday, July 21 and Tuesday, August 4. You’ll have up to three minutes per person to address the full Council. Groups can request to combine time into one speaker. Sign up by emailing your name, Zoom name and/or telephone number to Council@Hillsboro-Oregon.gov. Send an email to City Council. You can also sign up during the beginning of these online Council meetings by texting the number on the screen.

Listening Sessions:

On Saturday, August 8, two listening sessions (one in English from 9 am to 10:30 am, one in Spanish from 11 am to 12:30 pm) will be led by an outside facilitator — Frances Portillo of Portillo Consulting, International — to hear from community members who want to speak outside of a City Council meeting. More details will be announced here.


Write out your thoughts, then send your email to Council@Hillsboro-Oregon.gov. Send an email to City Council.

All comments will be gathered and shared with City Councilors ahead of a scheduled Work Session on Tuesday, August 18, that will focus on policing and public safety in our community.

Your ideas matter. Your experiences matter. You matter.

Have questions? Call 503-681-6100 for more information.

Hillsboro Police listening sessions

Public Safety Training and Standards Task Force

Governor Kate Brown convened the first meeting of her Public Safety Training and Standards Task Force. The Task Force will make recommendations to the Governor to improve the training and certification processes for Oregon law enforcement officers, including systemic changes to incorporate racial equity into hiring and training.

The Task Force discussed:

  • The 16-week basic officer training course offered by the Department of Public Safety Standards & Training (DPSST).
  • Recruitment and hiring of DPSST trainers and staff from a diverse range of backgrounds.
  • Potential state standards for department-level law enforcement training that takes place after basic officer training.

Task Force members include a diverse selection of Oregonians with backgrounds in public service, civil rights, and public safety and they will provide a written report of its recommendations and findings to the Governor by November 1, 2020.  

Additional Resources

Employers and Employees

Education Links

Local Government

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance



Oregon Health Authority


View Past Updates, Share and Subscribe: 

If there was COVID-related information in a past newsletter that you want to go back to, but find you’ve deleted it, you can always go to my legislative website (http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/mclain), click on “News and Information,” and you’ll find them all there. You can also share this site with your friends and loved ones, so they can view past newsletters, and subscribe to future updates.  

Susan in Mask on Porch

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