August 18th Update: Emergency Board, Agency Updates, and more

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Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

I hope you all have been enjoying the beautiful weather, and staying cool despite the heat! It has been a busy few days for me and my office, with another Emergency Board meeting yesterday where we worked to rebuild our supply of PPE.  In this newsletter you will find updates on housing supports, small business assistance, agency updates including Employment, Early Learning and Human Services, as well as an update on vote-by-mail and the USPS. 

Oregon Beauty

We are so lucky to live surrounded by so much beauty!

New Developments

  • Hillsboro Business Grants: Small businesses in the City of Hillsboro can apply to receive up to $3,500 in emergency grant funding during a third round of applications next week.  The application process will be open from Today, August 18, at 9 am through tomorrow, Wednesday, August 19, at 4 pm on the City’s COVID-19 Business Resources webpage.  The emergency support will help offset some of the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • City of Hillsboro staff will be available by phone at 503-681-6100, in English and Spanish, during normal business hours to assist business owners and entrepreneurs who need help.  To help businesses prepare to apply, previews of the application will be available in English and Spanish on the COVID-19 Business Resources webpage.
  • Vote by Mail and USPS Update: Many of you may be hearing reports of mail delays and removals of mail drop boxes and sorting machines.  You can read some reporting on this here.  With the November election looming, this is creating some concerns for many voters.  Secretary of State Bev Clarno, received this letter from USPS, relating to vote-by-mail in Oregon.  According to this letter, our current deadlines for sending and returning ballots should be sufficient, but the USPS recommends that ballots be in the mail by October 27th to ensure timely delivery.  Secretary Clarno recently released this statement assuring Oregonians that she is working closely with USPS and County Clerks to be sure that every Oregon vote counts.  Oregon’s Congressional delegation is also working to be sure that the Post Office is fully equipped to handle the November election, you can read their letter to the PostMaster General here
  • TriMet is re-evaluating their approach to public safety and security to create a safer, more welcoming and more equitable transit experience. After reallocating $1.8 million in funding from traditional police services and other sources on July 1, 2020, TriMet will soon launch a broad community outreach and engagement effort to help inform changes in safety efforts.  You can find more details about this process here. Opportunities to participate in this work: 
    • Online Safety Survey 
    • August 24: Virtual town halls and listening sessions hosted by Coalition of Communities of Color begin
  • Emergency Board: Yesterday, the Legislative Emergency Board met to allocate $105 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to the Department of Administrative Services to leverage state buying power to purchase Personal Protective Equipment.  These funds will help build back up the state stockpile of PPE to prepare for the fall and winter, and make PPE more available to counties, cities and tribes.  Click on the image below to hear my remarks in yesterday’s meeting.  You can watch the full meeting and view materials here.  
Emergency Board August 17

Case Data and Health Updates

  • National Numbers: 
    • Confirmed Cases: 5,422,242 (up 40,117 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 169,870 (up 520 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 23,676 total cases (confirmed and presumptive) of COVID-19.  
    • Today we have 237 new confirmed and presumptive cases, and 9 new deaths. 
    • Monday: 192 cases, 0 deaths
    • Sunday: 252 cases, 2 deaths
    • Saturday: 412 cases, 1 death
    • A total of 397 Oregonians have died from COVID-19.  
  • Washington County still has one of the highest case counts at 3,380 confirmed cases, including 25 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 August 18

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

Face Coverings in Warm Weather

With all this hot weather, wearing a mask can be less comfortable.  The Oregon Health Authority has some tips for how to safely and comfortably keep the community safe in this crazy heat. Try lighter colored masks, breathing through your nose, and if you get overheated move to a cooler spot away from others and remove the mask until you cool down. 

Local Spotlight

Valley Art Association:

The Valley Art Association has been a cultural cornerstone in Forest Grove for more than 50 years.  Owned and operated by local artists, it provides opportunities for our community to appreciate, learn about and create art.  From their gallery to their classroom space, the Art Association provides invaluable community benefit.  I am so pleased that they have reopened, and that the community has been showing up to support them.  If you’d like to learn more about the Valley Art Association you can check out their website, find them on facebook, or read this recent article in Forest Grove Community Advantage Magazine.  

Local Businesses:

If you have not checked out any of our beautiful local wineries or breweries, I can’t recommend it enough.  The Forest Grove News Times has a great list of local restaurants, bars, wineries, breweries and food carts in Forest Grove and Cornelius.  I have found that a trip to a winery is a great social distance outing, because it’s an opportunity to support a local business and enjoy some of Oregon’s beautiful natural and pastoral beauty! You can support our local businesses and by ordering takeout from restaurants, trying tasting rooms, and ordering products for pickup! Remember to wear your mask and be safe!

Susan and Flowers


In June the Legislature passed legislation to protect renters and homeowners from evictions and foreclosures.  Since then, Oregon Housing and Community Services has been working with the Oregon Law Center to create helpful resources for landlords and tenants.  You will find many of those resources below, and they are available in multiple languages here.  

STEP 1: Know Your Rights

The Oregon Legislature passed a law so landlords in Oregon can’t do the following until October 1st:

  1. Give a notice of termination for nonpayment of rent or fees due between April 1 and September 30;
  2. Give a notice of termination without cause;
  3. Report unpaid rent or fees to credit agencies; or
  4. Charge fees for late rent.

After the eviction moratorium ends on October 1, renters have until March 31, 2021 to catch up on any rent payments they missed between April and October 2020. But landlords can give notices of termination or file evictions for other reasons, both during and after the moratorium. Get more information at

STEP 2: Write to Your Landlord

If you think you might struggle to pay rent, tell your landlord in writing and save a copy. Many programs assist renters prior to falling behind or help renters get caught up on rent. Ask for help right away.

STEP 3: CALL 2-1-1 or Visit

Contact the Community Action Agency (CAA) near you. You may qualify for help with rent, energy, and more. CAAs provide information for free. Due to the large number of requests, there may be a waiting period to qualify for and/or get assistance.

STEP 4: Gather Information

In addition to state and federal assistance, some local programs, non-profits, or religious organizations might be able to help. Also, you may be able to set up a partial payment plan with your landlord. This option is voluntary but could help reduce the back rent that you owe at the end of the grace period (March 2021). Information is changing rapidly, so continue to look for news from the Governor’s office, state agencies, and trusted organizations.

STEP 5: Get Ready

If you don’t pay October’s rent, your landlord can give you a notice of termination for nonpayment of October’s rent, and then file for eviction if you don’t pay your rent. You may also get a notice from your landlord requiring you to tell them within 14 days if you plan to use the six-month grace period to pay back any outstanding rent. You must respond and tell your landlord if you plan to use the grace period. (It’s best to respond in writing, and to keep a copy.)

The Oregon Law Center and the Community Alliance of Tenants have sample letters you can use to let your landlord know that you plan to use the grace period. If you don’t tell your landlord, they can charge a penalty of half of one month’s rent, after March 31, 2020. Remember, you have to catch up on any rent you didn’t pay between April and October 2020 by March 31, 2021. This information can be complex. Please visit The Oregon Law Center and the Community Alliance of Tenants websites for more in-depth information.

STEP 6: Take Care of Yourself.

These are difficult times and continued stress can affect sleep, mental health and relationships. 211 provides resources and NAMI Oregon has a free mental health hotline for support.

Agency Updates

Employment Department Updates: 

The Employment Department continues to post new webinars and briefings to their YouTube Channel, if you have questions about a new program or form, it is a good resource! 

PUA Online Form Now Available in Spanish

The Oregon Employment Department continues to try to improve their claims processing capacity, to quickly resolve claims.  Recently they announced that Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims can now be filed in Spanish, online. 

To apply for or receive benefits through the new Spanish-language system, claimants should visit and select “Español” from the top right drop-down menu. 

To receive more guidance on using the Spanish-language form, Spanish-speaking PUA claimants should register for the Oregon Employment Department’s next webinar, scheduled for August 20 at 1 p.m. This webinar, which will be held in Spanish, will guide Oregonians on how to use the PUA form and answer questions. Register at

Contact Us Form is Faster and Better

If you have any of the following needs please use the Contact us Form.  Using the form is the best way for them to get a response. 

  • Weekly payment or missing payment (They are missing a week or a few weeks of benefits)
  • PIN Reset
  • Restart
  • Extended benefits - PEUC or EB
  • Error on my claim
  • Report Identify Theft
  • Hasn’t filed, or not sure if they should file or not.  Assuming not ADA or immigrant work status issue, and that they have a computer. 

My office may be able to help if you have any of the following needs: 

  • Waiting for over 8 weeks with NO payment. 
  • PUA or UI application hasn’t been processed (meaning saw nothing ever from OED in response) and it has been 6 weeks or more.
  • Waiting for more than 10 weeks since the time the adjudication need is known. 
  • Do not clearly meet the criteria of any program or have complex income histories and are getting nowhere with the online systems.
  • Getting bounced around between many programs and seems to get continuing contradictory information.
  • People who do not have access to a computer.
  • Checks sent but didn’t get to the person (after two full weeks).
  • After checking their Reliacard there are no funds (past the first week which is a check) 

Early Learning Division-Childcare Updates:

Last week, the Oregon Department of Education’s Early Learning Division released the new “Health and Safety Guidelines for Child Care and Early Education Operating in COVID-19.” The updated guidelines take effect Tuesday, September 1, 2020.  The guidelines are broken into 14 sections, with some notable updates in the following areas:

  • Increased use of Personal Protective Equipment
  • Adjusted group size
  • New family engagement and health and safety plan sections
  • Responding to possible and confirmed cases of COVID-19

The new guidelines are posted on ELD’s COVID-19 webpage in English and Spanish, and they will be posting videos, updated FAQs and information on supports to assist providers on that page as well.

Department of Human Services Updates:

The following information includes highlights from an update the legislature recently received about many ongoing programs at DHS.  

Long-term Care Oversight

  • Testing: Implementation of COVID-19 testing at large long-term care facilities statewide continues to move forward. As of August 10, a total of 28,220 individuals had been tested, including individuals at facilities where testing is still underway.
  • Outbreaks: There has been a leveling from outbreaks in long-term care facilities. The number of facilities that require close monitoring has also remained at roughly 10 or so at any given point. To date, the total number of individuals admitted to a surge capacity facility (formerly emergency health care centers) is 175; of that total, 154 individuals had been living in a licensed long-term care facility. 

Ongoing COVID-19 Policy Work

The DHS Aging and People with Disabilities Program continues to adjust policies to meet needs during the pandemic. Among the policies currently under development is patio visitation at adult foster homes. 

Contact Tracing

The Office of Developmental Disability Services completed and posted an English language and Spanish language video regarding contact tracing. The videos explain the purpose of contact tracing, why contract tracing is important, the process by which someone may be contacted, and potential scams related to contact tracing. 

SNAP-Food Benefits

On August 14, DHS received notification from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) that two of their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) federal waiver requests were approved. These waivers have been approved from September through December 2020, as long as the State of Emergency continues to exist nationally and within Oregon. These waivers will provide the SNAP program with the needed flexibility to address the increased demand for the program and allow them to maintain physical distancing precautions for the benefit of Oregonians and staff. The waiver extends the “no interview” requirement for the 45,000 SNAP benefit recertifications coming due in September. This will allow the department the ability to waive interviews for up to 50% of those normally scheduled in these months. 

snap benefits

Additional Resources

Employers and Employees

Oregon Secretary of State’s business resources can be found at or you can email questions to

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 (, 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

Yours truly,

Representative Susan McLain

Representative Susan McLain
House District 29

email: I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-376, Salem, OR 97301