October 13th Update: COVID-19 and Wildfires

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Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

Hope you had a great weekend and took some time to recharge! It is so nice to see green coming back to the grass, and to watch the leaves change.  Hopefully rain and cooler temperatures are reaching the areas of our state that need it most. Yesterday, the Legislative Emergency Board had a productive meeting to deliver more resources to agencies responding to wildfires.  It was a good meeting and should help families, schools and students to have essential services like clean water, safe schools and housing.  I enjoy serving on the Emergency Board because of the opportunities it gives me to help Oregonians most in need.  


COVID-19 Updates:

New Developments

  • OHA Live Stream Event Tomorrow, Wed. 10/14 at Noon: COVID-19 is reshaping how Oregonians celebrate holidays, including Halloween. But that doesn’t mean Halloween can’t still be spooky and fun this year! Join us on Wednesday, October 14 at noon for tips on how to celebrate safely and to have your questions answered by our experts directly.
  • Secretary of State,  Elections Office Pandemic Expenses Report: The Emergency Board received this report from the Secretary of state on how they spent the Federal Coronavirus Relief Funds distributed to them for pandemic related election expenditures.  At its meeting on September 25, 2020, the Emergency Board provided $1,643,396 from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to the Secretary of State (SOS) for financial assistance to county election offices and the Elections Division for costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Protecting eyes during screen time (From Oregon Health Authority): With so many children and college students attending school online, and adults working from home, you may be wondering about how to keep your and your children’s eyes healthy. Staring at digital devices and computer screens can cause eye strain. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends blinking often and following the 20-20-20 rule – every 20 minutes look away from the computer at something that’s 20 feet away for 20 seconds. AAO has a full list of recommendations for reducing eye strain while using digital devices and more specific recommendations for children who are using screens are available on their webpage.
  • Keeping your face covering effective during rainy weather (From Oregon Health Authority): Rain is coming. Throughout much of Oregon people are used to getting wet, and in fact many don’t even bother with carrying an umbrella. But rainy weather is yet another part of life that’s a little different during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wet masks

Case Data

  • National Numbers: 
    • Total Cases: 7,787,548 (up 46,614 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 214,446 (up 338 from yesterday)
    • 351,361 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 37,780total cases (confirmed and presumptive) of COVID-19.  
    • Today we have 321 new confirmed and presumptive cases, and 6 new deaths. 
    • Monday: 222 cases, 0 deaths
    • Sunday: 337 cases, 0 deaths
    • Saturday: 409 cases, 2 deaths
    • A total of 605 Oregonians have died from COVID-19.  
  • Washington County still has one of the highest case counts at 5146 confirmed cases, including 50 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 October 13th

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

Wildfires Updates:

People who were affected by the Oregon wildfires and straight-line winds and who live in  Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, and Marion counties should apply for FEMA assistance even if they are covered by insurance or have registered with other agencies.

How can insured applicants qualify for FEMA assistance?

Under federal law, FEMA cannot duplicate insurance settlements or other benefits, but there are cases where insured survivors might still be eligible for FEMA help. For example:

  • Your settlement was delayed longer than 30 days after you filed a claim.
  • The settlement does not fully cover all your losses and needs.
  • You exhausted the additional living expenses provided in your policy.
  • You cannot locate suitable rental resources in your community.

Take the Following Steps to Make Sure You Get All Eligible Help

  • File your insurance claims for the damage caused by the fires as soon as possible.
  • Apply with FEMA for assistance. You don’t have to wait for your insurance settlement to apply. If you have registered with other organizations, you still need to apply with FEMA if you want to be considered for FEMA assistance. Here’s how:
    • Call FEMA toll-free at 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) or (TTY: 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. PDT, seven days a week.
    • Those who use a Relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their assigned number for that service.  It is important that FEMA is able to make contact. Phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number.
    • Visit DisasterAssistance.gov.
    • Check FEMA’s mobile app

After You Apply With FEMA

  • Once you have applied, you have 12 months to let FEMA know if your insurance coverage was not enough and you want to be considered for help.
  • To request FEMA assistance, fax or mail FEMA a letter explaining the circumstances to:
    • FEMA Individuals and Households Program, National Processing Center, P.O. Box 10055 Hyattsville, MD 20702-8055
    • Or Fax: 800-827-8112

Wildfire and Emergency Board:

In our Monday meeting, the Legislative Emergency Board approved reports and allocated funds to support agency responses to wildfires.  These reports and allocation include: 

  • Disaster Consultation for Oregon Housing and Community Services: $500,000 from the Emergency Fund to the Housing and Community Services Department for contracted disaster and recovery consultant services. Other states have utilized similar professional service contracts, including California, Colorado, Florida, and North Carolina. Reports from these states indicate that the expertise provided through contract services enabled the client states to continue primary (e.g., non-disaster) services, while expediting assistance to disaster areas and maximizing available federal resources and reimbursements. Examples of disaster recovery consultant services include the following:
    • Coordination of state, local, and not-for-profit housing-related assistance to avoid duplication of services
    • Damage assessment and data collection
    • State and Federal contracting guidelines
    • Housing recovery program design that maximizes available federal resources
    • Eligibility determination and application for financial assistance from federal agencies, including FEMA and HUD
    • Federal grant management, including tracking of expenditures, and reporting requirements
    • Federal advocacy
  • Oregon Health Authority, Small Drinking Water System and Domestic Well Testing: $750,000 General Fund from the Emergency Fund to the Oregon Health Authority to test drinking water for contaminants in communities and households impacted by wildfires.
    •  $150,000 is for water quality testing of water systems with fewer than 1,000 service connections
    •  $600,000 to test an estimated 2,000 private domestic wells for contaminants. OHA’s assumption that 2,000 wells will need to be tested represents a high-level estimate of the number of households directly impacted by the wildfires.
  • Department of Education, Wildfire Damage Assistance:  $20.0 million from the Emergency Fund to provide for grants or loans to support school districts, education service districts, and public charter schools in mitigating the costs of damage caused by wildfire. The first $7.5 million would be for a new Short-term Loan Assistance Program with the remaining $12.5 million dedicated to the Emergency Hardship Grant Program. 

Wildfire Resources: 

OEM has put together this list of contacts to help speed up the process of replacing these documents:

  • Green cards: Phone (800)-375-5283; Website: www.uscis.gov
  • Medicare cards: Phone: (800)-772-1213; (TTY) (800)-325-0778 Website: www.medicare.gov
  • Military records Phone: 866-272-6272 Website: www.archives.gov/contact/
  • Passport Phone: 877-487-2778; (TTY) 888-874-7793 Website: travel.state.gov
  • Social Security card Phone: 800-772-1213; (TTY) 800-325-0778 Website: www.ssa.gov
  • U.S. Savings Bonds Phone: 844-284-2676 Website: www.treasurydirect.gov
  • U.S. tax returns Phone: 800-829-1040 Website: www.irs.gov
  • Birth, death, marriage, domestic partnership, divorce certificates Phone: 888-896-4988 Website: www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Birthdeathcertificates
  • Driver’s license, auto titles and registration, ID cards Phone: 503-945-5000 Website: www.oregon.gov/odot
  • SNAP (Oregon Trail Card) Website: www.oregon.gov/DHS/Assistance/Food-Benefits
  • State taxes (Oregon Dept. of Revenue) Phone: 503-378-4988 or 800-356-4222 TTY: All relay calls are accepted. Website: www.oregon.gov/dor
  • Real estate and property - Contact your county government.
  • Credit cards - Contact your credit card company directly.
  • Credit reports from Equifax, Experian, TransUnion Phone: 877-322-8228 Website: www.annualcreditreport.com
  • Insurance documents - Check with your insurance agent.
  • Medical records - Call your doctor or your medical insurance company; medical and prescription records are tracked electronically.

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.  

The Department of Forestry’s Wildfire Response and Recovery Overview has ongoing updates about firefighting efforts, damage reports, and more.  

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.


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