July 28th Update: School Reopening Metrics, PUA Updates, Case Data and more

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Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

I have heard so much fear and uncertainty from students, parents, teachers and more about what will happen in the fall.  There are strong feelings and varied needs on both sides of the issue.  Some parents are afraid of what will happen if students are doing distance learning, but they have to return to work.  Some are afraid their students, families, teachers and communities will be put at risk if we open prematurely.  Some are afraid of the missed social and academic opportunities if we remain in remote learning.  Many share all of these fears, and are not sure how to balance the competing needs.  These are all valid concerns that need to be balanced.  

Today, the Governor announced new metrics to guide local districts in their reopening decisions for the fall.  My hope is that these new metrics will provide more certainty to districts who are working to make decisions for the fall, and that they will help everyone in communities across Oregon to feel more assurance that decisions to reopen will be based on the best available scientific and health data.  You can read the Governor’s press release here, the full guidance for reopening metrics here, or see the excerpt below: 

“Oregon school districts are currently developing plans for the coming school year using ODE’s Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance. The following metrics were developed by doctors and health experts at the Oregon Health Authority, working with education experts at the Oregon Department of Education and the Early Learning Division.

In-Person Instruction or Hybrid Instruction Model: All Grade Levels and School Districts

In order to resume in-person instruction in any form, including hybrid instruction models [when students are in the classroom part-time], the following conditions must be met:

County Metrics (Must be Met Three Weeks in a Row)

  • 10 or fewer cases per 100,000 people over 7 days
  • Test positivity of 5% or less over 7 days

Statewide Metrics (Must be Met Three Weeks in a Row)

  • Test positivity of 5% or less over 7 days

In-Person Instruction or Hybrid Instruction Model: K-3 Students and Remote and Rural School Districts

Under some conditions, in-person instruction can resume only for K-3 students and remote and rural school districts with fewer than 100 students. Younger students get the virus at lower rates, get less sick, and spread the virus less than older students and adults. Younger students also need more in-person instruction to build the literacy and math skills critical for lifelong learning. Schools in remote and rural communities are less likely to contribute to the community spread of COVID-19 cases that cannot be traced and contained. The following conditions must be met for in-person instruction for K-3 students or for remote and rural students:

  • Fewer than 30 cases per 100,000 over 7 days
  • Test positivity of 5% or less over 7 days
  • COVID-19 is not actively spreading in the school community
  • School districts are in compliance with sections 1-3 of Ready Schools, Safe Learners Guidance

Transition Planning for Comprehensive Distance Learning

For school districts where in-person instruction is occurring during the school year, planning for a switch to comprehensive distance learning should take place, including training for staff and notification of the community, if one or both conditions are met:

  • 20 cases or greater per 100,000 over 7 days
  • Test positivity of 7.5% or greater over 7 days

Comprehensive Distance Learning

All school districts must implement comprehensive distance learning if the following conditions are met:

  • 30 or more cases per 100,000 over 7 days
  • Test positivity of 10% or greater over 7 days


Based on these metrics, with the increasing spread of COVID-19 in both rural and urban Oregon this summer, many, if not most, Oregon students live in school districts that will begin school in the fall by focusing on online distance learning or will have a hybrid model that combines remote online education and in-person classroom time. Districts across the state have been developing plans to provide high quality education to all students, including students of color, low-income students, students experiencing disabilities, and rural students––all students who were disproportionately impacted by the institution of comprehensive distance education last spring.

With more time for school districts to develop a planned response to COVID-19 for the coming school year, Oregon schools will be expected to work to address the diverse needs of students and their families and provide the best possible education for every Oregon student.

A recording of the Governor’s press conference from Tuesday, July 28, is available here.

A full transcript of the Governor’s remarks from Tuesday, July 28, is available here.”

New Developments

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Updates: If at all possible please make use of the new PUA online system.  You can resubmit past weekly claims here, but should not try to re enter your initial claim again. 
  • Since some PUA customers have not had to use a PIN until now, you will need to create one. We have heard about some customers who experienced difficulty when creating a PIN. In response, OED re-configured their system to require customers to create their own PINs the next time they login. You should be able to login to create your PINs and establish answers to security questions.
  • If you need to create or reset PINs in the future (after logging in the new system), you can request to create or reset a PIN by:
    • Visiting OED’s website at unemployment.oregon.gov/contact-us;
    • Scrolling down to the “Oregon Employment Department Contact Us Form”;
    • Finding the “How Can We Help?” section and selecting the “Resetting my PIN” option; and
    • Filling out the required fields and selecting “submit”
  • OED is hosting weekly Zoom webinars with program experts on Thursdays.  The next webinar is July 30, at 1:00 p.m. They will give updates on PUA, then attendees can ask questions through the Zoom chat feature. Please register in advance through this link. Once registered, you should receive a confirmation email. Please note there are only 500 spots for this webinar, but the recording will be posted later if you miss it.  You can find this event and other updates on the Employment Department Facebook Page
PUA webinar July 23

Click this image to watch last week’s PUA webinar

  • Food Assistance Available: The end of the extra $600 weekly benefit for unemployment will likely hit many of our friends and neighbors hard.  If you need help providing food for yourself and your family, help is available. The site needfood.oregon.gov provides information about meals available at schools and food pantries, applying for SNAP benefits, and how to access Meals on Wheels.
Food Assistance Available
Pop Up Plaza
  • Cornelius Pop-Up Plaza: Cornelius recently opened a community “Pop-Up Plaza” called La Placita at North 12th Avenue and Adair Street. It will remain open through August.  The plaza features flowers and colorfully painted tables and chairs spaced widely apart to promote coronavirus social distancing guidelines. You can read an article from the Forest Grove News Times here
  • Cornelius Farmers Market: Adelante Mujeres in partnership with the City of Cornelius has launched the 2020 Farmers Market.  Safety information available here. Every Friday from July- September, 4PM- 8PM at the Cornelius Public Library, 1370 N Adair St, Cornelius, OR 97113.
Cornelius Farmers Market

Case Data

  • National Numbers: 
    • Confirmed Cases: 4,280,135 (up 54,448 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 147,672 (up 1,126 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 17,416 total cases (confirmed and presumptive) of COVID-19.  
    • Today we have 342 new confirmed and presumptive cases. 
    • Monday: 340 cases, 0 deaths
    • Sunday: 277 cases, 3 deaths
    • Saturday: 405 cases, 4 deaths
  • Tragically we have had a total of 303 Oregonians die from COVID-19, including 14 new deaths today.  I would like to echo these thoughts from OHA Director Pat Allen, reflecting on these fatalities from COVID-19 “As we surpass 300 deaths related to COVID-19, including the 14 deaths reported today, I wish to extend sincere condolences on behalf of everyone at OHA to the families who have lost a loved one to this disease. It is a stark reminder of the work all Oregonians need to do to bring this pandemic under control. Together we can slow this disease and prevent this terrible loss of life.”
  • Washington County still has one of the highest case counts at 2,583 confirmed cases, including 31 new cases today.  You can review on-going updates from OHA by clicking on the table below. 
  • The Oregon Health Authority provides 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 28th

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

Testing Summary, July 25

This table shows the week by week progression in testing in Oregon.  Our total number of tests per week has been increasing since the start of the pandemic, which is good news.  The increase in % positive tests was troubling, because it showed a true increase in spread, but that rate is beginning to trend down again. Click the table to view the most recent testing update.  

Best Practices

Dating During COVID-19

If you are dating during COVID, or are considering resuming your dating life, consider this advice from OHA about how to manage dating risks, and have straightforward conversations with friends and dates: 

  • "Trying to navigate dating during coronavirus has been challenging. I care about you and want to see you, but I want to make sure that we are on the same page about how we keep each other healthy and safe right now."
  • "I like and want to spend time with you. Let’s talk about who we spend time with and the places we visit, so that we can decide if you want to risk seeing each other in person."
  • "Navigating dating during COVID has been challenging for me. For that reason, I would prefer that we continue to get to know each other over video chat until it is safer to meet in public again."
Dating During COVID

Travel Guidance

Summertime is usually the vacation season. Long-distance recreational travel is not recommended at this time, but outdoor recreation opportunities like camping have reopened.  If you need to travel, or you are taking advantage of recreation opportunities in Oregon, it is important to be safe and smart. Oregon Health Authority has provided the guidance below to help you plan your trip.  Good planning and sanitizing can help protect you and others from COVID-19. Remember some areas may be “open” but asking tourists to keep their distance.  For example, the City of Bend has asked folks to stay away until Labor Day.  

Before you go

  • Pack alcohol‐based hand sanitizer (containing 60-95% alcohol) and cleaning supplies.
  • Bring a face covering to wear in public places (and pack a couple of extras).
  • Prepare food and water for your trip to help limit having to go into stores along the way.
  • When booking a room online, make sure you know what their COVID safety precautions are or call and ask.

Along the way

  • Make sure to wear your face covering when stopping for gas, food or bathroom breaks.
  • Maintain physical distancing when making stops.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, after touching surfaces frequently touched by others, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, and before touching your face or eating. If soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizer.

When you get there

  • Stay at least 6 feet apart from other people.
  • Avoid crowded places.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • If you’re staying in a hotel, consider limiting or opting out of daily housekeeping service to reduce the number of people entering your room.

A few tips for flying

  • Try to limit contact with frequently touched surfaces like kiosks, touchscreens and turnstiles, handrails, restroom surfaces and elevator buttons.
  • Try to limit your exposure to others in the airport.
  • Wear your mask in the airport and during the flight.
  • Continue to practice good hand hygiene.
Travel Pix

There are lots of beautiful places to visit for a day or two in Oregon, just be sure to check and make sure the place is welcoming vistors! Bring extra masks, and maintain social distance!

Public Safety and Black Lives Matter

My colleague, Representative Rachel Prusak, recently shared a very powerful and interesting video from Corey, a Black mom in Portland who has been participating in the protests there.  As I mentioned in my last newsletter, it is important that we remember the reasons behind these protests, and keep that context and perspective in mind.  As Corey shares in this video, we need to be engaging in “Both/And” thinking rather than “Either/Or” thinking.  White allyship like we see in the “Wall of Moms” is important and we need White folks on the front lines of protests and advocacy led by our Black and Brown neighbors.  What we don’t want is for the story to become about White moms, when this is a movement led by Black moms and Black Oregonians seeking to protect their sons, daughters and communities.  I encourage you to watch the video for yourself and take up the challenge to do “Both/And” thinking.

Corey on "Both/And Thinking"

Joint Committee on Transparent Policing and Use of Force Reform

This week the Joint Committee on Transparent Policing and Use of Force Reform  will continue their public hearings about how to address systemic problems in policing. The committee will meet virtually at 10 am on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday to hear public testimony on the legislative concepts that have come out of the last few weeks of work.  You can view the text of the draft bills in the “meeting materials” section of each meeting, and instructions for testifying are available on each meeting agenda.  The Willamette Week also reported on some of these concepts here.


  • LC 742: Relating to the use of tools by law enforcement agencies
  • LC 743: Relating to police officer uniforms and identification


  • LC 744: Relating to police officer misconduct
  • LC 745: Relating to the use of force by police officers


  • LC 746: Relating to arbitration awards
  • LC 748: Relating to records of discipline of police officers

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 Selfie with Mask

Keep on Masking Up!

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