October 2nd Update: Wildfires and COVID-19

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Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

Seeing the full harvest moon helps put things into perspective after a very challenging September filled with COVID-19 and wildfires.  I hope your week-end brings you peace of mind and time to enjoy the beautiful moon, and relaxing and safe activities with family and friends.  

harvest moon

COVID-19 Updates:

New Developments

  • Updated Heroes Act, passes U.S. House: You can read a full summary from the House Appropriations Committee here.  A few highlights of the bill, shared by Congresswoman Bonamici, include: 
    • A  second round of $1,200 direct payments
    • Extension of enhanced unemployment insurance benefits 
    • Childcare investments for working families and in early childhood education
    • Electricity bill and housing assistance
    • Enhanced resources for testing and workforce development investments for contact tracing
    • Support for seniors
    • Extension of CARES Act eligible expense deadline through December 31, 2021 (and retroactively to January 31, 2020).
    • Extends the suspension of payments and interest accrual for federal student loans until September 30, 2021. 
  • Facts about herd immunity:  There is a lot of misinformation spreading about herd immunity to COVID-19.  Kaiser Health News has recently released an article which provides a lot of good science based information.  You can read that article here
  • Benton and Clatsop County join Malheur County on Governor’s COVID-19: Counties are placed on the Watch List when COVID-19 is spreading quickly and public health officials cannot trace that spread to specific sources—creating a potentially dangerous dynamic. Specific markers of this rapid community spread include when there is a sporadic case rate of 50 or more per 100,000 people in the last two weeks and the county has had more than five sporadic cases in the last two weeks (sporadic cases are those that cannot be traced to a source; they indicate community spread). Counties remain on the Watch List for a minimum of three weeks and until their sporadic case rates drop below these thresholds.  Learn more here.
  • Free Testing Event for Latinx Communities: There have been significant disparities in the effects of COVID-19, with Hispanic and Latino people making up 36% of total COVID-19 cases in the Metro region, despite making up only 11% of the population.  Latino Network is working in partnership with state and county officials to host free testing events for Latinx communities.  Pre-registration is required and can be done online.  You can learn more about this partnership from OPB.  
  • It’s okay to ask for help: COVID-19 has changed our lives, and it can feel difficult for anyone. There’s support for you and the people you love.
Coping with COVID-19

Case Data

  • National Numbers: 
    • Confirmed Cases: 7,260,465 (up 47,046 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 207,302 (up 900 from yesterday)
    • 302,093 Cases in Last 7 Days
    • 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 34,163 total cases (confirmed and presumptive) of COVID-19.  
    • Today we have 314 new confirmed and presumptive cases, and 3 new deaths. 
    • Thursday: 363 cases, 1 death
    • Wednesday: 220 cases, 4 deaths
    • A total of 563 Oregonians have died from COVID-19.  
  • Washington County still has one of the highest case counts at 4713 confirmed cases.  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. 
  • OHA’s Weekly Report: 
    • Between Monday, September 21, and Sunday, September 27, OHA recorded 1,999 new cases of COVID-19 infection—up 32% from last week’s tally of 1,511.
    • New test numbers rose by 29%, to 24,243, while the percentage of tests that were positive was unchanged from last week’s report at 6.2%.
    • 18 Oregonians were reported to have died in association with COVID-19—the same number as last week.
    • There were 143 Oregonians hospitalized, up from 116 in the previous week.
    • The age group with the highest incidence of reported infection continues to be 20–29-year-olds.
    • Persons <30 years old have accounted for 37% of reported cases but only 9% of hospitalizations and 0.64 of deaths.
    • Reported COVID-19 case rates decrease in subsequent decades of life, but hospitalization and death rates increase with age; 264 (48%) of the 547 deaths have been among persons at least 80 years of age, and 377 (75%) in persons 70 and older.
Weekly Summary 10/2

Case numbers by symptom onset date, and broken up by type of spread

Daily Update 10/2

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

Wildfire Updates:

Large Fire Map

Map of the large fires still on the Oregon Landscape, click to be linked to more information

Containment Table

Current Containment Levels for Large Fires as of 9/28

Red Cross Updates: 

Since September 7th the Red Cross have supported more than:

  • 8,541 congregate overnight shelter stays
  • 47,513 non-congregate (hotel) stays
  • 135,259 meals have been served or delivered to evacuees.
  • 4,029 comfort kits have been distributed to those impacted by the wildfires.
  • 3,999 cleanup kits have been distributed to help those whose homes have been impacted by wildfires.
  • 1,498 Safe & Well registrations have been made, helping loved ones work to reconnect following this disaster. 
  • 450+ Red Cross staff and volunteers are currently assigned to this relief operation.

Currently there are 11 Red Cross shelters and one temporary evacuation site currently open in Oregon. For a daily updated list of Red Cross locations please visit redcross.org.

Wildfire Resources

The Governor’s office has put together a Wildfire Resources page that you can access from the Governor’s home page.  It has links to many of the most important updates about the status of fires and resources for evacuees.  This website will be updated regularly.  Governor Brown also held a press conference today to give updates on the state of evacuations and fire suppression.  You can watch that here.  

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management is pushing out information on Twitter: https://twitter.com/OregonOEM

Red Cross Cascades has updates on how to help: https://twitter.com/RedCrossCasc

Forest Grove Fire and Rescue: https://twitter.com/ForestGroveFire 

Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue is updating through Twitter: https://twitter.com/TVFR

Clackamas Fire: https://twitter.com/clackamasfire

Emergency alerts for Medford: https://twitter.com/MedfordALERT

And OPB has live updates on fires and evacuation orders running here: https://www.opb.org/article/2020/09/09/live-updates-wildfires-oregon-evacuation-orders/

FEMA Updates: FEMA has provided several different Fact Sheets and resources for accessing benefits, determining eligibility and avoiding scams.

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.  

HArvest moon 2

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