COVID-19 Updates 9/18/2020

Rep. Sollman

Friends and Neighbors,

Note From Governor Brown

A storm coming in today will bring welcomed moisture, along the coast and both the west and east slopes of the Cascades. There will still be challenges like high winds, but our firefighters are grateful for rain. We’re making great progress on containing several fires. Grateful for swift deployment of FEMA resources — we are already working to implement Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) for Oregonians who are newly out of work because of the fires. We anticipate being able to start making payments as early as next week. Our Small Business Navigator hotline is ready to answer questions about wildfire resources for businesses, such as accessing insurance, how to set up structural assessments of their businesses, SBA loans, etc. Learn more by calling 833-604-0880. I know we have a long road of recovery ahead, but time and again I am in awe of the dedicated, brave, and empathetic people who have been doing anything and everything it takes to help their fellow Oregonians. Thank you.

Wildfire Information and Resource Links

We are fortunate that a change in weather pattern today may bring some much needed moisture to aid firefighters as they continue to battle fires across the state. Remember to check air quality alerts before engaging in outdoor activities as some smoke may continue to linger. 

Washington County Resources

Additional Resources

American Kidney Fund Disaster Relief Program

The American Kidney Fund’s Disaster Relief Program is the nation’s only rapid-response system that provides emergency charitable financial assistance to dialysis patients when disaster strikes their communities. Disaster relief grants from AKF help patients replace lost medications and special renal diet foods, pay for temporary housing and transportation to treatment, and replace clothing and personal essentials lost in a natural disaster.  Dialysis patients that are adversely affected by the wildfires and need an AKF emergency grant, should contact AKF directly at 800-795-3226.

Additionally, the American Kidney Fund maintains a natural disaster resource page for dialysis patients and renal professionals.  This site contains not only emergency phone numbers and state and municipal resources, but also information about the 3-Day Emergency Diet Plan for dialysis patients.  By following this plan, patients can help reduce waste buildup in their bodies in case they have to miss or delay their dialysis treatment.

Filing a Homeowner Claim after a Fire

While in House District 30 are fortunate to not be in the devastating situation our fellow Oregonians face from home loss due to the fires, the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation has prepared tips for filing a homeowner claim after a fire. This is great information to have on hand or share with others that may need it.


Ways to Help

Nike has committed to a $1,000,000 donation to wildfire relief efforts and will continue to match the donations that employees from around the world give with a one to one match. Read more here.

For Donations/People who Want to Help

From Oregon Forests Forever-Oregon Wildfire Resources Page

Homeshare Oregon

Homeshare Oregon

An estimated 40,000 Oregonians have been displaced by the fires to date. At the same time, there are more than a million spare bedrooms in Oregon’s owner-occupied homes—enough to house every fire-impacted Oregon family. 

Home Share Oregon, a program from the nonprofit organization Oregon Harbor of Hope, is here to help match homeowners who have space to share with renters who need an affordable place to live—including those displaced by the fires.

We use Silvernest, an online homesharing platform, to enable compatibility-based homeowner/renter matching at scale and protect the relationship with a lease, insurance and more. Home Share Oregon is a nonprofit program offering all services free to members who are victims of the Oregon fires. 

Visit to learn more and register to create your free homesharing profile on Silvernest.

COVID-19 Updates

Employment Department Updates

From the Oregon Employment Department

  • Director David Gerstenfeld’s media briefing for Wednesday September 16, 2020
  • Extended benefits webinar. This webinar is about extended benefits programs including the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program.
  • Employee health and safety measures. Last week, we had to temporarily close a few of our offices due to high winds, and later, wildfire smoke and evacuation orders. Right now, all of our offices are open. We are monitoring the air quality, and have consulted with Oregon OSHA for standards and guidance for employee safety. Employees also have several avenues to get their questions and concerns to us and our safety and facilities team have been working tirelessly to respond to every work place in the state in need of attention. Dampers are shut, windows are closed, and dozens of industrial HEPA air scrubbing machines are in our locations where our employees are working on unemployment claims.  Although all of our offices are back open, some of our employees have also been personally affected by the fires. Oregon state government provides an Employee Assistance Program benefit to help employees through stressful times, such as these.
  • Senate Bill 1701 implementation. We were able to complete needed program changes to implement SB 1701 this week, instead of much later in the winter. Senate Bill 1701 allows claimants to earn up to $300 before seeing a reduction in their weekly benefits. See Q & As here with examples.
    • What happens if I earn the same as, or more than, my weekly benefit amount? Any amount earned over $300 will be reduced from their weekly benefit, dollar-for-dollar. 
    • Example 1: If you have $150 in gross earnings and your benefit is $151, you will receive your full benefit amount. Why: You made less in gross earnings than your benefit amount.
    • Example 2: If you have $151 in gross earnings and your benefit is $151, you will not receive benefits that week. Why: You earned the same amount as your benefit amount. 
    • Example 3: If you have $225 in gross earnings and your benefit is $300, you will receive your full benefit amount. Why: Your gross earnings are less than your weekly benefit limit of $300.
    • Example 4: If you have $300 in gross earnings and your benefit amount is $500, you will receive your full benefit amount. Why: Your $300 in gross earnings is less than your weekly benefit amount AND you do not exceed the $300 limit for gross earnings.
    • Example 5: If you have $325 in gross earnings and your benefit amount is $500, you will receive $475 in benefits. Why: Your gross earnings are higher than the $300 limit created by SB 1701. After you pass $300 in weekly earnings, your benefit amount is reduced dollar-for-dollar for any amount over $300. Since your earnings are $25 over the $300 limit, your benefit amount will be reduced by $25.
  • Wildfires and Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). The President approved a disaster declaration for the Oregon wildfires. The disaster assistance period begins September 13, 2020 but the agency has already begun preparing to enact Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). DUA provides benefits to individuals who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits or extensions. While this is the program that Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is based on, there are differences. This disaster declaration now includes individual assistance in the following counties: Clackamas; Douglas; Jackson; Klamath; Lane; Lincoln; Linn; and Marion.
    • As mentioned last week, we have an update on Oregon Wildfires on the website that can help answer some questions about how we can continue to reach your constituents. 
    • We added a “button” to the contact us form to help us get to people who need immediate attention as a result of the wildfires. “I evacuated due to the fires, I need a new ReliaCard or to set up Direct Deposit” 
  • Lost Wages Assistance (LWA). Last Friday, online self-certification for LWA launched. Self-certification is required by FEMA for eligible claimants who receive UI, PEUC, or EB benefits for a COVID-19 reason. The online self-certification form is available in English and Spanish.
    • Claimants seeking the six weeks of additional $300 weekly benefits should visit our Online Claims System and scroll down to “Lost Wages Assistance.” Those with language access needs can contact us by email at  or call our language hotline 503-606-6969
  • Step-by-Step Guides. We continuously work to improve the website and there is now a step-by-step section that provides videos, and guides for how to file claims, submit weekly certifications, and more. Please take a look, and refer customers HERE for these helpful guides
  • Modernization. The notice of intent to contract with a vendor to modernize the state unemployment insurance systems was released this past week.  David shared, "After a year-long procurement process, the Employment Department is one step closer to completing our modernization program. These improvements will allow us to more effectively serve unemployed Oregonians and improve security." 
    • Modernization Q&As here.
    • A Notice of Intent to Award (“NITA”) is a written notice that Department of Administrative Services (DAS) issues indicating that the procurement’s evaluation phase is complete. 
    • The NITA also names the top-ranking vendor who is being considered for the contract award (in this case, FAST Enterprises). FAST then has the opportunity to accept the intent to award, and enter the final contract negotiation phase. 
    • The contract negotiation team will include members from throughout the agency, and representatives from Department of Administrative Services and the Department of Justice. The team will work with the vendor to finalize contract negotiations in the context of the stated conditions and sign the contract.

New Guidance for Pools, Spas and Sports Courts

Recently, new guidance for general and limited-use pools and sports courts
in Phase One and Phase Two counties was released. Certain pools and sports courts for can now open under guidance from the Oregon Health Authority. Visit here for full guidance

Virginia Garcia Updates their Screening Criteria

Visit for more information.


Washington County Cooperative Library Services-Distance Learning Resources

WCCCS-Distance Learning

To support schools, teachers, parents and other caregivers who will be involved with students’ remote schooling this fall, Washington County Cooperative Library Services has created distance learning resources for grades K-12. Resources include live tutoring, homework help, scads of online reference materials, writing assistance … and much more.

Resources are available in both English and Spanish.  All online resources are free and immediately available to Washington County residents with online registration.

Additional Resources

 House District 30 Links

Federal Delegation Links

Education Links

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance

This has been another heavy week of processing our constant feeling of crisis. I thank you for being good neighbors, good friends and good family members by checking in and supporting one another. We are Oregonians and we will rebuild. Let’s continue to take care of each other, urban and rural.

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