August 25th Update: Case Data, Local & Agency Updates and More!

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Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

Oregonians have been taking up the challenge to increase compliance with mask requirements and OSHA guidance! This week’s testing report shows a test positivity rate of 4.5%, our lowest since June!  This is great news, but we can’t take our foot off the gas.  We still are having a higher daily case rate than we need.  We can get our numbers down statewide if we keep up the strong work! That means wearing a mask when you are inside and not with your household.  It also means bringing masks with you on walking or recreating outside (you don’t have to wear them the entire time, but you need to have them and put them on when others are within 6 ft).  It also means staying home if you or a family member are ill, even if you have not yet tested positive, you can find more information about sick leave policies here.  

Keep up the strong work! We are in this together, and together we can bring down our case counts! 

Susan + Flowers

New Developments

Child Care Provider Assistance: Washington County will launch the Child Care Assistance Program on Wednesday, August 26, 2020. This program will grant child care providers funds to offset increased costs and lost revenue due to the impacts of COVID-19.  Learn more and apply here.

Childcare Provider Assistance
Shop Local

Shop Local and Order Takeout in our Community:  The Forest Grove News Times and PDX Eater have put together some great lists of local businesses offering online ordering and delivery or low contact pick up!  Check our local options for takeout in Forest Grove, Cornelius and Hillsboro.

  • Fire Update: As of Monday, Oregon has experienced 1,567 fires for 99,281 acres burned. This includes fires and acres burned across all fire jurisdictions in Oregon, such as ODF-protected lands, federal lands, tribal lands, and the rangeland in southeastern Oregon. The ten-year annual average is 2,150 fires and 557,811 acres burned. In the last week we have seen a dramatic increase in fire activity, due to lightning and continued high temperatures and lack of rain.  Given the large fires across Oregon’s landscape and fires in California, smoke impacts have been on the rise. Smoke will continue to impact much of southern Oregon, with an air quality advisory in effect for areas in Lakeview, Burns, and the Klamath Basin.  More resources for monitoring the fire and smoke landscape in Oregon:
  • Opportunity for Hillsboro School District Employees: All HSD staff are invited to attend the 2020 Virtual Summer Summit on Thursday, Aug. 27, from 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. The Summit provides valuable professional development opportunities for both licensed and classified staff, and attendance is completely voluntary. Learn more here.
  • New Rules from OSHA: Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Agency is seeking feedback on some proposed new rules. The rules are similar to current guidelines and require Employers to ensure 6 feet of distance between workers, or employees must wear face coverings. The 6-foot distancing requirement can also be satisfied by an impermeable barrier that creates a “droplet buffer” of 6 feet between workers. Read more from OPB here.  
  • Oregon Cares Fund applications open now: Earlier this summer, my colleagues and I on the Emergency Board established the Oregon Cares Fund or Black relief and resiliency, to provide cash relief to qualifying Black individuals and families, Black-owned businesses, and Black-led community-based organizations using grants. The distribution will be carried out by two nonprofits – The Contingent and The Black United Fund – and all funds must be disbursed by Dec. 30, 2020. The Council of Trust, composed of 11 Black leaders from across Oregon, is charged with guiding the fund.  Applicants must demonstrate economic harm caused by the pandemic and prove residency in Oregon.  You can find more information, and apply for funds here.  
Cares Fund-Black Relief and Resilience

Case Data

  • National Numbers: 
    • Confirmed Cases: 5,715,567 (up 33,076 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 176,617 (up 394 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 25,391 total cases (confirmed and presumptive) of COVID-19.  
    • Today we have 247 new confirmed and presumptive cases, and 7 new deaths. 
    • Monday: 220 cases, 3 deaths
    • Sunday: 231 cases, 0 deaths
    • Saturday: 302 cases, 3 deaths
    • A total of 427 Oregonians have died from COVID-19.  
  • Washington County still has one of the highest case counts at 3,610 confirmed cases, including 38 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 25th

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

Agency Updates

Employment Updates:

OED applying for a FEMA Grant:

The Employment Department sent to the Legislature on August 20, giving required advance notice of their intent to apply for a federal grant from FEMA to provide supplemental benefits to some UI claimants (see statement here).  OED will continue to work closely with FEMA, the U.S. Department of Labor, and other states to understand the full impact on Oregonians.  There are both benefits and difficulties associated with this grant opportunity.  Despite the challenges, OED will apply for the grant and work to get these benefits to Oregonians as quickly as possible.  As we witnessed with the $500 check program last week, the need for more benefits is severe and widespread.  

The benefits for Oregon: 

  • Potentially an extra $300 per week for some UI claimants. 
  • Those benefits would be available for an estimated 3 to 5 weeks before stopping. 

The difficulties with this grant: 

  • Short term (3-5 weeks)
  • Not everyone receiving benefits will be eligible for the additional weekly payment. 
  • Standing up this program and getting the benefits paid will mean diverting people from doing the work they are already doing, and still need to do, to get people their benefits, pay people for the waiting week, and make many other needed changes. 
  • OED is also concerned that the effort needed to implement these short-term benefits may make it more difficult to implement any additional benefit programs Congress may ultimately pass. 

Unemployment Updates for School Employees: 

UI policy and practice is complicated for everyone, but Federal and state unemployment insurance benefit laws are particularly complicated  for school employees, both public and private. 

  • Q&As about UI for school employees here
  • Thursday August 27, 2020; school themed webinar-RSVP and info here

Department of Human Services:

2020 1st Special Session Implementation Efforts

During the 2020 1st Special Session the Oregon legislature passed Senate Bill 1606, legislation to help ensure that Oregonians with disabilities can see their families and support staff in the hospital to receive disability-related support. In response to the passage of this bill, ODDS created a number of tools to help individuals and their families, as well as case management entities, understand their rights. These tools include:

Employment Related Day Care (ERDC)

Families currently on ERDC and receiving a $0 copay will continue to have a $0 copay until the end of their current certification period. New ERDC families and families recertifying through September 30th will also have a $0 copay through the end of their 12-month certification period.

The income limit will continue to be increased from 185 percent of the federal poverty level to the higher exit limit of 250 percent or 85 percent of the State Median Income, whichever is greater.  

You can learn more about COVID-19 related ERDC changes here 

Long-term Care Oversight

  • Testing: The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the ODHS Aging and People with Disabilities Program (APD) are working with long-term care facilities to ensure they report initial baseline testing of residents and staff and to remind them of resources available to assist with testing. 
  • Outbreaks: There continues to be a leveling off of outbreaks in long-term care facilities with a total of 90 Executive Orders in place as of Aug. 21, down from 105 from the week before. 
  • Surge Capacity Facility: To date, the total number of individuals admitted to a surge capacity facility (formerly emergency health care centers) is 194; of that total, 167 individuals had been living in a licensed long-term care facility. Surge capacity facility beds continue to play a crucial role in helping the state assist facilities in coping with an outbreak.

Additional Resources

Employers and Employees

Education Links

Local Government

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance



Oregon Health Authority


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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